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Is it possible to disable figure processing while generating ps-file from dvi-file? That is, how to do that dvips will produce the same output when figure file exists as when figure file does not exist? ("dvips: Could not find figure file xxx; continuing.")

In info dvips it is said:

Dvips includes some headers on its own initiative, to implement features such as PostScript font reencoding, bitmap font downloading, handling of '\special''s, and so on. These standard headers are the '.pro' files (for "prologue") in the installation directory '$(psheaderdir)'; they are created from the '.lpro' ("long prologue") files in the distribution by stripping comments, squeezing blank lines, etc., for maximum efficiency. If you want to peruse one of the standard header files, read the '.lpro' version.

Here is the .lpro file for \special. Can it be changed to skip psfile command?

NOTE: using -R2 is not sufficient - it works only for absolute and ..-relative paths

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Just process dvi file in another directory which does not have the graphics:

DIR=$(mktemp -d -p /tmp XXXXXXXXXX)
cp file.dvi $DIR
cd $DIR
dvips file
cd -
cp $DIR/file.ps .
rm -fr $DIR

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