The question is pretty simple.

Compiling this code with PDFLaTeX


gives me back

whereas compiling the same code with XeLaTeX gives me back

I'm curious why this happens, but more importantly, I'd like to know:
How can I force XeLaTeX to avoid doing whatever it does that makes its output render differently like this from the PDFLaTeX output?

In case it matters, I'm running this on MiKTeX 2.9 (Windows).

  • I see no difference between the two methods on my system: MikTeX 2.9 x64. pdflatex v3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 and XeTeX v3.1415926-2.5-0.9999.3 Jul 14, 2014 at 23:29
  • @PaulGessler: That's actually exactly the same version I have (even the 64-bit-ness is the same.) What PDF viewer are you using?
    – user541686
    Jul 14, 2014 at 23:32
  • I use SumatraPDF. But the result is the same in Adobe Reader and Google Chrome. Jul 14, 2014 at 23:34
  • @PaulGessler: That's bizarre. Which one of my screenshots does your XeLaTeX output look like?
    – user541686
    Jul 14, 2014 at 23:35
  • The first (your pdflatex output). Jul 14, 2014 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


I have no idea why this happens, but it seems like the mere presence of the file


causes this issue, even if the file is empty.

Removing the file seems to fix the problem.

  • In TeX Live there is a dvipdfmx.cfg file, which is very important. Probably the (empty?) file in dvipdfm/config is something spurious from older versions of the dvipdfm software.
    – egreg
    Jul 15, 2014 at 7:55
  • @egreg: It's not "left over", it's generated. See my comment thread under the question itself, the file gets generated when I change the paper size, and it only has 1 non-commented line inside it, but deleting the contents changes nothing.
    – user541686
    Jul 15, 2014 at 7:56

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