# Is the DVI format de facto dead?

Are there any technical reasons that have killed or will kill the DVI format as an output for TeX engines?

I know that the microtype package works better with pdflatex, but is there any technical reason for microtype not supporting DVI better?

Perhaps the main practical reason for not using DVI is that pictures and fonts reside outside the DVI file and so you need to distribute a package instead of a single document. Moreover, DVI viewers must then support the display of external pictures.

PDF of course bundles everything together, which is practical in that sense, but not practical if you want to extract the pictures etc. One could define a DVI bundle format (using zip for instance), but there is no interest and PDF is ubiquitous.

• – lhf Aug 28 '13 at 15:07
• Where do you get the idea that TeX engines cannot output DVI? Both pdfTeX and LuaTeX can, while XeTeX uses an 'extended DVI' format (xdv) on the way to PDF (no viewer is available for xdv). – Joseph Wright Aug 28 '13 at 15:23
• People definitely still use DVI. The arXiv creates DVI, PS, and PDF files by default (a default that I consciously override, but still). Many, many people who learned to use TeX more than five years ago still use it out of habit, just like they still use {\bf bold text}. I think this question is like asking "Why is dial-up internet dead?": it's very much not, but it is obsolete. – Ryan Reich Aug 28 '13 at 15:52
• your point about separating the pictures is one of the best supporting dvi; if you want to check beforehand that a figure will actually reproduce on a press, having them separate is much simpler and more reliable. as one of my colleagues has observed, once a figure is embedded in a pdf file, all you have is hamburger. – barbara beeton Aug 28 '13 at 17:36
• I've changed the title of the question and its main question. I mean this question to be a technical one about the technical features of DVI. I don't think this question is "primarily opinion-based". – lhf Aug 28 '13 at 19:22