[tex-live] Win32 run from DVD, customization and paper size

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Feb 10 17:06:07 CET 2007

On 2/9/07, Karl Berry <karl at freefriends.org> wrote:

>     I think that paper size should always be specified in each document.

You really have to look at what is loaded in the available printers.
Half the time I go to pick up a printout I'm greated with the message:
"Please put A4 paper in tray X" and a backlog of jobs waiting to print.

> I don't agree with "always", but never mind the theory.  The point here
> is that it is certainly the case in practice that many documents do not
> specify a paper size, and Potis' run-off-dvd installation needs to work
> with them without further ado.  An installation in the USA that defaults
> to a4 is not, in practice, usable.

There are a couple things that could be done:

1.  make the default "PA4" format (210x280 mm):

"Note: It was proposed for an early draft of ISO 216 to recommended
the special size 210 × 280 mm (a format sometimes called PA4) as an
interim measure for countries that use 215 × 280 mm paper and have not
yet adopted the ISO A series. Some magazines and other print products
that have to be printed economically on both A4 and U.S. Letter
presses use the PA4 format today. Incidentally, this PA4 format has a
width/height ratio of 3:4, the same as traditional TV screens and most
computer monitors and video modes."
  -- <http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/iso-paper.html>,

2. use the locale information:

_US and _CA --> letter, otherwise A4

For POSIX there is a sample C program and extensive discussion
The main objection is that many people working N. America use
other locales so they can work in their native language, while
N. Americans may want to print from their laptop while travelling.

Windows has a locale API -- don't know if anyone has done a POSIX
interface, but


is a table to decode values of LOCALE_IPAPERSIZE.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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