I have installed the Springer template for monograph svmono, following this article, using the command line interface in linux. But something strange happens. If I use latex, everything compiles fine, but the dvi output is like a "zipped" text, namely a sequence of meaningless characters. If I use pdflatex to compile it (disregarding some minor errors) the output is almost perfect. What could be causing this? How can I fix this problem?

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    Sounds like it could be a font problem. Hard to say without a minimal working example meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/228/… Do you have to use latex? Otherwise I'd suggest to be pragmatic and just use pdflatex. You can still use pdf2ps or pdftops if you need to hand in a postscript file. The latex->dvi->ps workflow is a bit dated anyway. – Christian Apr 28 '12 at 14:04
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    Welcome to TeX.sx! It often helps to provide a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem. I this case, what are you using to view the dvi file? – David Carlisle Apr 28 '12 at 14:07
  • Actually i have not created anything with this template by my hands. I am tring to compile the example book.tex in the tamplate package. Of course i can use pdflatex, but i would like to understand what happens. – emanuele Apr 28 '12 at 14:26
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    @emanuele: In order for us to identify the problem, we need to be able to recreate it, or you need to supply more information regarding the difference. For example, "some little errors" provide no context nor does it describe what errors you received. I downloaded svmono, and was able to compile with both latex and pdflatex with only minor warnings (not errors). They included bad boxes and a mathptmx font warning. So, please update your question accordingly. – Werner Apr 28 '12 at 14:37
  • In particular did you convert the dvi file to something else (typically postscript or pdf) or just look at the dvi file directly? Your description sounds almost as if you are looking directly at the dvi file, it is a binary format that needs to be viewed or converted with tools such as xdvi or dvips or dvipdf – David Carlisle Apr 28 '12 at 14:42

For viewing .dvi files one need the appropriate program.

  • On GNU/Linux boxes you can choose among xdvi (uses only standard Xorg libraries), kdvi (uses KDE libraries), or Evince (Gnome based).

  • On Mac OS X one can use xdvi with the system provided X server.

  • On Windows usually YAP is used (bundled with MiKTeX).

The best is, however, to convert it into PDF:

latex file
dvips file -o
ps2pdf file.ps

is the usual pattern. One can do everything by calling

simpdftex latex file

if running TeX Live.

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