MPOST(1)                                                 MPOST(1)

NAME
mpost, inimpost, virmpost - MetaPost, a system for drawing
pictures

SYNOPSIS
mpost [options] [commands]

DESCRIPTION
This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive.  The  com-
plete  documentation  for this version of TeX can be found
in the info file or manual Web2C: A TeX implementation.

MetaPost interprets the  MetaPost  language  and  produces
PostScript  pictures.  The MetaPost language is similar to
Knuth's Metafont with additional  features  for  including
tex(1)  or  troff(1)  commands  and  accessing features of

Like TeX and Metafont, MetaPost is normally  used  with  a
large  body  of precompiled macros.  This version of Meta-
Post looks at its command line to see  what  name  it  was
called  under.  Both inimpost and virmpost are symlinks to
the mpost executable.  When called as  inimpost  (or  when
the  --ini  option  is given) it can be used to precompile
macros into a .mem file.  When called as virmpost it  will
use  the  plain  mem.   When  called under any other name,
MetaPost will use that name as the name of the mem to use.
For  example,  when called as mpost the mpost mem is used,
which is identical to the  plain  mem.   Other  mems  than
plain are rarely used.

The commands given on the command line to the  program are
passed to it as the first input line.  (But  it  is  often
easier to type extended arguments as the first input line,
since UNIX shells tend to gobble up or misinterpret  Meta-
Post's favorite symbols, like semicolons, unless you quote
them.)  The first line should begin  with  a  filename,  a
\controlsequence, or a &memname.

The  normal  usage  is  to say mp figs to process the file
figs.mp.  The basename of figs  becomes  the  jobname'',
and  is  used in forming output file names.  If no file is
named, the jobname becomes mpout.  The default  extension,
.mp,  can be overridden by specifying an extension explic-
itly.

There is normally one output file for each picture  gener-
ated,  and  the  output files are named jobname.nnn, where
nnn is a number passed to the beginfig macro.  The  output
file  name  can also be jobname.ps if this number is nega-
tive.

The output files can be used as figures in a TeX  document
by including
\special{psfile=jobname.nnn}
in  the  TeX  document.   Alternatively,  one  can  \input
epsf.tex and then use the macro
\epsfbox{jobname.nnn}
to produce a box of the appropriate  size  containing  the
figure.

btex TeX commands etex
This  causes  mp  to  generate  a  MetaPost picture
expression that corresponds to  the  TeX  commands.
If  the TeX commands generate more than one line of
text, it must be in a \vbox or a minipage  environ-
ment.

verbatimtex TeX commands etex
This  is ignored by mp except that the TeX commands
are passed on to TeX.  When using LaTeX instead  of
block that gives the \documentstyle and \begin{doc-
ument} commands.  You can use the %&' construct in
the first verbatimtex block to ensure that the cor-
rect TeX format is used to process the commands.

btex feature works best when the output of  mp  is  to  be
the fonts.  For self-contained PostScript output that  can
be  used  directly  or included in a troff document, start
your MetaPost input file with the command prologues:=1 and
stick  to standard PostScript fonts.  TeX and MetaPost use
the names in the third column  of  the  file  trfonts.map,
which  can  be found in the directories with support files
for MetaPost.

MetaPost output can be included in a  troff  document  via
the  -m pictures macro package.  In this case mp should be
invoked with the -T flag so that the commands between btex
and  etex  or between verbatimtex and etex are interpreted
as troff instead of TeX.  (This  automatically  sets  pro-
logues:=1 ).

OPTIONS
This version of MetaPost understands the following command
line options.

--mem mem
Use mem as the name of the mem to be used,  instead
of  the  name  by which MetaPost was called or a %&
line.

--help Print help message and exit.

--ini  Be inimpost, for dumping bases; this is  implicitly
true if the program is called as inimpost.

--interaction mode
Sets  the interaction mode.  The mode can be one of
batchmode, nonstopmode, scrollmode, and  errorstop-
mode.   The  meaning  of these modes is the same as
that of the corresponding commands.

Sets path searching debugging  flags  according  to
the  bitmask.  See the Kpathsea manual for details.

--progname name
Pretend to be program name.  This affects both  the
format used and the search paths.

-T     Produce TROFF output.

--translate-file tcxname
Use the tcxname translation table.

--troff
As -T.

--version
Print version information and exit.

ENVIRONMENT
See the Kpathsearch library documentation (the Path spec-
ifications' node) for the details of how  the  environment
variables  are  use when searching.  The kpsewhich utility
can be used to query the values of the variables.

If the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT is  set,  MetaPost
attempts  to put its output files in it, if they cannot be
put in the current directory.

Here is a list of the  environment  variables  affect  the
behavior of mp:

MPINPUTS
Search path for input files.

MFINPUTS
Auxiliary  search  path  for  input  files with .mf
extensions.

MPSUPPORT
Directory for various tables for handling  included
tex and troff.

MPXCOMMAND
The  name  of a shell script that converts embedded
typesetting commands to a form that MetaPost under-
stands.  Defaults: makempx for tex and troffmpx for
troff.

TEX    The version of TeX - or LaTeX - to  use  when  pro-
cessing  btex  and  verbatimtex  commands.  Default
tex.  This version of MetaPost allows you to use  a

TROFF  The  troff  pipeline  for btex and verbatimtex com-
mands.  Default eqn -d\$\$ | troff

MPEDIT A command template for invoking an editor.

A .mem file is a binary file that permits fast loading  of
macro  packages.  mpost reads the default plain.mem unless
another .mem file is specified at the start of  the  first
line with an & just before it.  There is also an that sim-
ulates plain Metafont so that mpost can  read  .mf  fonts.
(Plain Metafont is described in The Metafontbook).

Experts  can  create  .mem  files be invoking inimpost and
giving macro definitions followed by a dump command.

The MetaPost language is similar to Metafont, but the man-
ual  A  User's Manual for MetaPost assumes no knowledge of
Metafont.  MetaPost does not have bitmap  output  commands
or Metafont's online display mechanism.

FILES
mpost.pool
Encoded text of MetaPost's messages.

*.mem  Predigested MetaPost mem files.

plain.mp
The standard mem file.

mfplain.mp
The  Metafont-compatible  mem file.  This is loaded
when virmp is invoked via a symbolic link as  mfmp.

$TEXMFMAIN/metapost/base/*.mp The standard MetaPost macros included in the origi- nal distribution.$TEXMFMAIN/metapost/support/*
Various tables for handling included tex and troff.

$TEXMFMAIN/metapost/support/trfonts.map Table of corresponding font names for troff and PostScript. psfonts.map Table of corresponding font names for tex and PostScript.$TEXMFMAIN/doc/metapost/examples.mp
The  source  file for a few sample figures that are
part  of  a  LaTeX  document   \$TEXMFMAIN/doc/meta-
post/mpintro.tex that describes the MetaPost system
in a little more detail.

Donald E. Knuth, The Metafontbook (Volume C  of  Computers
0-201-13445-4.
John D. Hobby, A User's Manual  for  MetaPost,  CSTR  162,
AT&T Bell Labs,
John  D.  Hobby,  Drawing  Graphs with MetaPost, CSTR 164,
AT&T Bell Labs,
TUGboat (the journal of the TeX Users Group).

tex(1), mf(1), dvips(1).

AUTHORS
MetaPost was designed  by  John  D.  Hobby,  incorporating
algorithms from Metafont by Donald E. Knuth.  It was orig-
inally implemented on Unix, incorporating system-dependent
routines  from  web2c, while not relying on it exccept for
the actual Web-to-C translator.

of web2c and worked  towards  fully  integrating  MetaPost
into the canonical Unix TeX distribution.  He also updated
and extended this manual page.

TRIVIA
Unlike TeX and Metafont, MetaPost  originally  didn't  use
any  fancy  logo.  John Hobby says he prefers the spelling
MetaPost'', yet  Don  Knuth  has  updated  the  Metafont
logo.mf  font to be able to typeset a proper MetaPost logo
similar to the Metafont logo.  Feel free to  use  whatever
you think is more approporiate!

Web2C 7.3                 29 March 1999                         1

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