I have plain TeX (NOT LaTeX) files that include EPS files using the psfig macros and dvips. These worked until today when I installed the latest TexLive distribution from the Ubuntu repository on Ubuntu 16.04. I now get the error: /undefined in startTexFig

ps2pdf not able to include eps files since El Capitan MacOs upgrade "Error: /undefined in startTexFig"

appears to be the same sort of problem in the case of LaTeX, but the solution given is not applicable to TeX.

The Ghostscript version is 9.18.

The following stripped down example will trigger the error:

\input /home/poser/bin/tex/psfig

Some text.


more text

  • First of, giving others something to test with would be a good starting point. Secondly, exactly which texlive did you install on Ubuntu? The Ubuntu one, or upstream texlive, thirdly as it is mentioned in that example you list, ghostscript version may be of importance, so please list that information as well.
    – daleif
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:16
  • psfig is old and not part of texlive and miktex. Why don't you use graphics? See here for plain tex code: tex.stackexchange.com/a/236224/2388. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:25
  • I have several large documents with many included figures that I wrote some years ago, of which I am trying to generate updated versions. In the longer run switching to graphics may well be the solution, but in the short run it would be very helpful to be able to use my legacy versions
    – Bill Poser
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:36

1 Answer 1


As explained here


parts of psfig were dropped from texlive when it became clear that the licence was incompatible.

The code itself probably still works if you get it from ctan or an old distribution, or you could use the epsfig psfig emulation in the graphics package.

  • It says 'nonfree'!
    – Joseph Wright
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:41
  • @JosephWright "it"=ctan? yes that's why it got dropped from texlive Jan 5, 2017 at 8:43
  • In the thread you are linking to it sounds as if Karl changed also some dvips header files and removed psfig related code, so one would have to correct this too. Jan 5, 2017 at 8:43
  • I mean that it wasn't dropped because the license was 'incompatible' (with ?) but because it is non-free, and that's a red-line for TeX Live.
    – Joseph Wright
    Jan 5, 2017 at 8:44
  • @UlrikeFischer yes Jan 5, 2017 at 8:44

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