I am a Window user. I downloaded mt5.2015.tar.gz (TeX files, 1108KB) from Fremlin website and compile vol5I.tex (one of the files in the tar.gz file).

However, there are a bunch of errors after compiling and I could not view the pdf. Below are a few errors that I encounter:

(1) ! Undefined control sequence. \buffer@\fontdimen13 \tenex

(2) ! Missing font identifier.\global \newdimen\buffer

(3) ! Font \nullfont has only 7 fontdimen parameters.\global \newdimen\buffer

In the website, the author only discussed compilation problems for Linux but not Window.

Your help is appreciated if you can help me to get rid of those errors and compile the pdf.

EDIT: The following is code for vol5I.tex

\input volwp.aux \mtlulustyle \luluvolumeno=5

\hyphenation{Ra-de-ma-cher} \hyphenation{Sous-lin}

%\leaveitout{ \input mt50I

\varfrnewpage %\end %}

\input mt51 \input mt511 \input mt512 \input mt513 \input mt514 \input mt515 \input mt516 \input mt517 \input mt518 %\end

\varfrnewpage %}

\ifnum\pageno=1\iflulu\pageno=83\else\pageno=93\fi\fi \input mt52 \input mt521 \input mt522 \input mt523 \input mt524 \input mt525 \input mt526 \input mt527 \input mt528 \input mt529 %\end

\varfrnewpage %}

\ifnum\pageno=1\iflulu\pageno=184\else\pageno=209\fi\fi \input mt53 \input mt531 \input mt532 \input mt533 \input mt534 \input mt535 \input mt536 \input mt537 \input mt538 \input mt539

\vskip 48pt plus 12pt minus12pt

\input mt5Iconc

\immediate\write0{\number\nquery queries}


%329 pages %lulu "spine width" 2.30 cm

  • I guess people are hesitating to follow unknown links. But are you sure that this is the main tex file, i.e. does it start with \documentclass?
    – user121799
    Dec 14, 2017 at 2:49
  • @marmot: No, it does not contain \documentclass.
    – Idonknow
    Dec 14, 2017 at 2:52
  • @marmot: I tried compiling with \documentclass. It still gives me the same errors. I think the tex file that I compiled inputs other tex files.
    – Idonknow
    Dec 14, 2017 at 3:00
  • I checked the files. According to readme.txt, they are plain TeX files. You can compile them with tex.
    – user121799
    Dec 14, 2017 at 3:06

1 Answer 1


See "Compilation problems":

The commonest error

is to try to compile with

     latex volx.tex

which will produce an error message along the lines of

     ! Undefined control sequence.
     l.479 \buffer@\fontdimen13 \tenex

when the LaTeX compiler encounters a line which makes no sense to it.

The file is not written in the LaTeX format, but for plain TeX (x=5I or 5II):

tex volx.tex

TeX Live does not have dvipdf, thus I had also to apply the changes, described in the next section of the cited page to get it work with dvips and ps2pdf.

  1. Download volwp.2016.aux.txt and replace volwp.aux.
  2. Run plain TeX to get DVI files (.dvi):

    tex vol5I
    tex vol5II
  3. Run dvips to get PostScript files (.ps):

    dvips vol5I
    dvips vol5II
  4. Run Ghostscript to get PDF files (.pdf):

    ps2pdf vol5I.ps
    ps2pdf vol5II.ps

The result is vol5I.pdf and vol5II.pdf.

BTW, it does not make any sense to try running LaTeX, because the source files are not written in that language.

  • I see. How should I compile plain TeX? I apologize if my question is too simple, as I have no experience in dealing plain TeX.
    – Idonknow
    Dec 14, 2017 at 3:10
  • @Idonknow On the command line, just use tex instead of latex (or pdflatex or lualatex). Dec 14, 2017 at 3:31
  • Sorry. I do not follows what you mean by 'Run plain TeX.' How do I do that? Otherwise, can you generate the two pdf files and send them to me?
    – Idonknow
    Dec 14, 2017 at 3:36
  • 1
    @Idonknow On the command line, run tex vol5I instead of latex vol5I. Dec 14, 2017 at 3:42
  • @Idonknow ... and convert the dvi file to pdf with dvipdft vol5I.dvi.
    – user121799
    Dec 14, 2017 at 3:48

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