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I have two very basic questions,

  1. If I compile a latex file, will I get the same dvi file irrespective of my OS (Windows/Unix)?

  2. If I have a .dvi file, will it appear same irrespective of my dvi viewer?

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    Welcome to TeX.SX! Short answer. 1. Yes. 2. No, different DVI viewers may support different specials. – egreg Sep 17 '16 at 22:05
  • @egreg Doesn't it also depend on the availability of the same fonts on different machines? – cfr Sep 17 '16 at 22:32
  • @cfr Yes, but without the fonts a DVI previewer usually fails and it would be almost meaningless looking at a DVI without the required fonts (well, unless you are using a VT terminal…, see tex.stackexchange.com/a/109760/4427) – egreg Sep 17 '16 at 22:37
  • @egreg I guess I counted not-displaying-at-all as looking different. I took the question to be can somebody on another machine open my DVI and I know they'll see the same thing? But you're right: it might mean, assuming they see anything at all .... – cfr Sep 17 '16 at 22:55
  • Yes opening a same dvi file, on two different viewer/driver, may look different in fonts or missing some non-text part. BUT the text are same, up to position, I mean if one look at page P and read the line L of that page, the word number W, is the same that the other one sees! – Omid Ghayour Sep 17 '16 at 23:06
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Yes! Almost yes! Actually if you use no \special, you will get same result.

If you use any \special that is not supported with your dvi driver, it would appear as a blank space or space saver.

Any way, if any text appears in both viewers, the stay in same page and same line, and same word position in the line.

You need to have a suitable pack of fonts, at least cm (Computer Modern) family, installed.

  • And if the document uses, say, tgschola but only one machine has the fonts? It will not look the same at all .... – cfr Sep 17 '16 at 22:31
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    Yes! Fonts may look different but character positioning is forced to be as supposed to! That is why I said almost! – Omid Ghayour Sep 17 '16 at 23:03
  • It will not look almost the same. It will very likely not display at all. (See egreg's comment above.) If it does, it will just be boxes. The boxes may have the same size as the boxes containing the glyphs on the other machine. But that hardly constitutes their looking 'almost' the same. – cfr Sep 17 '16 at 23:08
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    @cfr Opening a same dvi file, on two different viewer/driver, may look different in fonts (due to not having the apropriate font on at least one the machines installed) or missing some non-text especial parts. BUT the text are same, up to position, I mean if one look at page P and read the line L of that page, the word number W, is the same that the other one sees! – Omid Ghayour Sep 17 '16 at 23:09

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