This program makes PNG and/or GIF graphics from DVI files as obtained
from TeX and its relatives.
If GIF support is enabled, GIF output is chosen by using the
`dvigif' binary or with the `--gif' option.
It is intended to produce anti-aliased screen-resolution images as
fast as is possible. The target audience is people who need to generate
and regenerate many images again and again. The primary target is the
preview-latex (X)Emacs package, a package to preview formulas from
within (X)Emacs. Yes, you get to see your formulas in the (X)Emacs
buffer, see `http://www.gnu.org/software/auctex/preview-latex.html'.
Another example is WeBWorK, an internet-based method for delivering
homework problems to students over the internet, giving students
instant feedback as to whether or not their answers are correct, see
A more recent addition to the dvipng-using applications out there is
MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia and many other wikis out
there. Dvipng is used to render mathematical formulae from version
1.8.0 of MediaWiki, see `http://www.mediawiki.org'.
Other applications may also benefit, like web applications as
latex2html and WYSIWYG editors like LyX.
Benefits of dvipng
The benefits of `dvipng'/`dvigif' include
* Speed. It is a very fast bitmap-rendering code for DVI files, which
makes it suitable for generating large amounts of images
on-the-fly, as needed in preview-latex, WeBWorK and others.
* It does not read the postamble, so it can be started before TeX
finishes. There is a `--follow' switch that makes dvipng wait at
end-of-file for further output, unless it finds the POST marker
that indicates the end of the DVI.
* Interactive query of options. dvipng can read options interactively
through stdin, and all options are usable. It is even possible to
change the input file through this interface.
* Supports PK, VF, PostScript Type1, and TrueType fonts, subfonts
(i.e., as used in CJK-LaTeX), color specials, and inclusion of
PostScript, PNG, JPEG or GIF images.
* and more...