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I know that Miktex has an option -max-print-line=n to change the width of the output. I wondered if something like that existed for pdftex from TexLive ?

I'm on Gentoo.

It is very annoying to have a tool using only half the width of the screen...


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For instance, on Unix system with a Bash shell one can do max_print_line=120 pdflatex filename – egreg Nov 21 '12 at 0:33
up vote 9 down vote accepted

If your shell is Bourne based (Bash, Zsh) the syntax

max_print_line=120 pdflatex filename

will do in essentially the same way. The internal variables defined by the kpathsea library are superseded if set in the environment.

Alternatively you can add the line

max_print_line = 120

to the top level texmf.cnf file, that is, the one in


(adjust the number of columns to suit).

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If I had known it was that simple... Thanks a lot. – Baptiste Wicht Nov 21 '12 at 0:53
Does this mean max_print_line=$COLUMNS pdflatex foo should automatically do the right thing all the time? – Rhys Ulerich Feb 15 '13 at 14:55

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