I would like to use microtype with the latex, dvips, ps2pdf workflow. Is it possible to use it in this workflow? If it can be used are there any options that I need to call when using microtype?

  • In order to use the microtype package, you need to use a TeX format that creates a .pdf file directly. Microtype won't work with the (by now very) old LaTeX/TeX way of creating a .dvi file first, followed by a .ps file and eventually a .pdf file. Incidentally: Why would you want to go the .dvi -> .ps -> .pdf route if you can create a .pdf file directly?
    – Mico
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 17:13
  • @Mico: A couple of reasons why I prefer dvi+dvips+ps2pdf. 1) I widely use pstricks and psfrag in large documents, I know auto-pst-pdf can handle pstricks, but it sometimes has problems handling psfrag. 2) aut-pst-pdf + pdflatex is much slower compared to latex, particularly on large projects. I usually generate and view dvi file using YAPP (and Winedt) with full forward/backward search capability when preparing the manuscript and at the end go through dvips+ps2pdf phase. Also many publisher's art departments still generate graphics in .eps format.
    – perting
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 17:25
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    @Mico This is not correct. You can have protrusion with DVI output, see Table 1 in the microtype manual.
    – mafp
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 23:15
  • @mafp - I realize now I misunderstood the OP's posting: I thought he/she was interested in a very old (pre-pdfTeX) version of LaTeX that could produce only .dvi output. Indeed, pdf(La)TeX can be instructed to produce .dvi output instead of .pdf output; in such cases, as you note, the protrusion feature of the microtype package is indeed available.
    – Mico
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 0:01
  • @mafp Could you perhaps expand your comment to an answer ('You can have protrusion ...')?
    – Joseph Wright
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can have some microtype features with DVI output. Namely, if you are using the pdftex or luatex engine to produce DVI output, you can have protrusion (margin correction), even by default. Knuth's old tex engine won't work.

As Table 1 in the microtype manual tells us, you could even use font expansion with DVI and the aforementioned engines, but this requires to have the shrinked/expanded fonts already in place, they won't be generated for you. So unless you know exactly what you are doing, this is not for you, hence font expansion is disabled by default for DVI output.

Finally, no extra microtype option is needed for DVI output. There is the DVIoutput when loading the package, but this just forces DVI output on the pdftex engine. It is not needed when you already request DVI output via pdflatex -output-format=dvi.

TL;DR You can have protrusion for DVI, which is great, but no other of the (many) cool features.

  • According to the table from the manual (reproduced here), the kerning and spacing features are also available with DVI.
    – Robert
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 19:44
  • @Robert Yes I know, I mentioned that table, too. I left it out here as those two features do not improve the text layout per se.
    – mafp
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 21:18

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