xelatex -no-pdf blazes through a single page diagram using pstricks+fontspec but xdvipdfmx on the .xdv output is VERY slow (about 20 seconds delay).

Using xdvipdfmx -E -vv efa.xdv makes me think most of the work is related to processing fonts in some way. How can I speed this up?

Obviously when I run xelatex so that it does the xdvipdfmx in a single command, it's equally slow; I just separated the commands to see more logs.


This finds and uses a font file named arabic.ttf. My only complaint is that it's slow. I haven't taken any steps to properly install the font. Is there some kind of indexing or other precomputation that would help? Is there a possible permission problem if I'm not the owner of the texlive installation?

When I use regular latex->dvips, it's really fast - 1 sec instead of 30 sec - (but I don't use fontspec; it just finds an appropriate font for me with


If the font is the source of the problem the only one thing you can do is rebuild the cache and check if the folder of your font is in it (fc-cache -f -v) (or use another font).

But my guess is that the pstricks is a problem. xdvipdfmx has to call ghostscript in the background to convert it on-the-fly to pdf. This can be really slow (and can even give errors). It is better to generate an external pdf-picture (e.g. with pst-pdf/preview) and to include this.

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  • I think you're right. I only guessed that fonts were an issue from skimming the log. Can I somehow use a ->dvi or ->ps driver in xelatex, so I can still use pstricks? – Jonathan Graehl Jan 7 '11 at 6:40

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