Frequently Asked Question List for TeX


Imported graphics in dvipdfm

Dvipdfm (and dvipdfmx) translates direct from DVI to PDF (all other available routes produce PostScript output using dvips and then convert that to PDF with ghostscript or Acrobats Distiller).

Dvipdfm/Dvipdfmx are particularly flexible applications. They permit the inclusion of bitmap and PDF graphics (as does pdfTeX), but are also capable of employing ghostscript “on the fly” to permit the inclusion of encapsulated PostScript (eps) files by translating them to PDF. In this way, they combine the good qualities of dvips and of pdfTeX as a means of processing illustrated documents.

Unfortunately, “ordinary” LaTeX can’t deduce the bounding box of a binary bitmap file (such as JPEG or PNG), so you have to specify the bounding box. This may be done explicitly, in the document:

\includegraphics[bb=0 0 540 405]{photo.jpg}

It’s usually not obvious what values to give the bb key, but the program ebb will generate a file containing the information; the above numbers came from an ebb output file

%%Title: /home/gsm10/photo.jpg
%%Creator: ebb Version 0.5.2
%%BoundingBox: 0 0 540 405
%%CreationDate: Mon Mar  8 15:17:47 2004

If such a file is available, you may abbreviate the inclusion code, above, to read:


which makes the operation feel as simple as does including eps images in a LaTeX file for processing with dvips; the graphicx package knows to look for a bb file if no bounding box is provided in the \includegraphics command.

The one place where usage isn’t quite so simple is the need to quote dvipdfm explicitly, as an option when loading the graphicx package: if you are using dvips, you don’t ordinarily need to specify the fact, since the default graphics configuration file (of most distributions) “guesses” the dvips option if you’re using TeX.

FAQ ID: Q-dvipdfmgraphics