omega, iniomega, viromega - extended unicode TeX


omega [''options''? [''commands''?


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

Omega is a version of the TEX program modified for multilingual typesetting. It uses unicode, and has additional primitives for (among other things) bidirectional typesetting.

The iniomega and viromega commands are Omega's analogues to the initex and virtex commands. In this installation, they are symlinks to the omega executable.

Omega's command line options are similar to those of TEX.

Omega is experimental software.


This version of Omega understands the following command line options.

--fmt format

Use format as the name of the format to be used, instead of the name by which Omega was called or a % line.


Print help message and exit.


Be iniomega, for dumping formats; this is implicitly true if the program is called as iniomega.

--interaction mode

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


Send DVI output to a socket as well as the usual output file. Whether this option is available is the choice of the installer.


As --ipc, and starts the server at the other end as well. Whether this option is available is the choice of the installer.

--kpathsea-debug bitmask

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

--maketex fmt

Enable mktexfmt, where fmt must be one of tex or tfm.

--no-maketex fmt

Disable mktexfmt, where fmt must be one of tex or tfm.

--output-comment string

Use string for the DVI file comment instead of the date.

--progname name

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


Enable the filename recorder. This leaves a trace of the files opened for input and output in a file with extension .ofl. (This option is always on.)


Enable the write18{command} construct. The command can be any Bourne shell command. This construct is normally disallowed for security reasons.


Print version information and exit.


See the Kpathsearch library documentation (the `Path specifications' node) for precise details of how the environment variables are used. The kpsewhich utility can be used to query the values of the variables.

One caveat: In most Omega formats, you cannot use in a filename you give directly to Omega, because is an active character, and hence is expanded, not taken as part of the filename. Other programs, such as M ETAFONT , do not have this problem.


Normally, Omega puts its output files in the current directory. If any output file cannot be opened there, it tries to open it in the directory specified in the environment variable TEXMFOUTPUT. There is no default value for that variable. For example, if you say tex paper and the current directory is not writable, if TEXMFOUTPUT has the value /tmp, Omega attempts to create /tmp/paper.log (and /tmp/paper.dvi, if any output is produced.)


Search path for input and openin files. This should probably start with ``., so that user files are found before system files. An empty path component will be replaced with the paths defined in the texmf.cnf file. For example, set TEXINPUTS to


Command template for switching to editor. The default, usually vi, is set when Omega is compiled.


The location of the files mentioned below varies from system to system. Use the kpsewhich utility to find their locations.


Encoded text of Omega's messages.


Predigested Omega format (.fmt) files.


This version of Omega fails to trap arithmetic overflow when dimensions are added or subtracted. Cases where this occurs are rare, but when it does the generated DVI file will be invalid.

The DVI files produced by Omega may use extensions which make them incompatible with most software designed to handle DVI files. In order to print or preview them, you should use odvips to generate a !PostScript file.

Omega is experimental software. If you use it, subscribe to the omega mailing list by sending a message containing subscribe omega Your Name to


tex(1), mf(1), odvips__(1)?,__


The primary authors of Omega are John Plaice and Yannis Haralambous.

This page is a man page (or other imported legacy content). We are unable to automatically determine the license status of this page.