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Version: 332348 (ubuntu - 24/10/10)

Section: 1 (Commandes utilisateur)


mpost - MetaPost, a system for creating graphics


mpost [options] [commands]

mpost --dvitomp dvifile[.dvi] [mpxfile[.mpx]]


MetaPost interprets the MetaPost language and produces PostScript (EPS) or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) pictures. The MetaPost language is similar to Knuth's Metafont with additional features for including tex(1) or troff(1) commands and accessing features of PostScript not found in Metafont.

Like TeX and Metafont, MetaPost is normally used with a large body of precompiled macros. When the --ini option is given, it can be used to precompile macros into a .mem file. When called without that option, MetaPost will use its executable name as the name of the mem to use. For example, when called as mpost the mpost mem is used, which is identical to the plain mem.

The commands given on the command line to the MetaPost program are passed to it as the first input line. (But it is often easier to type extended arguments as the first input line, since UNIX shells tend to gobble up or misinterpret MetaPost's favorite symbols, like semicolons, unless you quote them.) The normal usage is to say mpost figs to process the file The basename of figs becomes the ``jobname'', and is used in forming output file names. If no file is named, the jobname becomes mpout. The default extension, .mp, can be overridden by specifying an extension explicitly.

When the --dvitomp option is given, MetaPost acts as DVI-to-MPX converter only. See dvitomp (1) for details.

This manual page is not meant to be exhaustive. The complete documentation for this version of MetaPost can be found in the User Manual that should have been installed along with the program and is also available from See the FILES section below.

The MetaPost language is similar to Metafont, but the manual assumes no knowledge of Metafont. MetaPost does not have bitmap output commands or Metafont's online display mechanism.


Predigested MetaPost mem files.
The standard mem file.
The Metafont-compatible mem file.
The standard MetaPost macros included in the original distribution.
Various tables for handling included tex and troff.
Table of corresponding font names for troff and PostScript.
Table of corresponding font names for tex and PostScript.
The MetaPost manual and tutorial source, also including sample figures


Donald E. Knuth, The Metafontbook (Volume C of Computers and Typesetting), Addison-Wesley, 1986, ISBN 0-201-13445-4.
TUGboat (the journal of the TeX Users Group).


dvitomp(1), epstopdf(1), mf(1), mptopdf(1), tex(1),


MetaPost was designed by John D. Hobby, incorporating algorithms from Metafont by Donald E. Knuth. It was originally implemented on Unix, incorporating system-dependent routines from web2c, while not relying on it except for the actual Web-to-C translator.

Ulrik Vieth adapted MetaPost to take advantage of the advanced path searching features in more recent versions of web2c and worked towards fully integrating MetaPost into the canonical Unix TeX distribution.

The current, CWEB based version of MetaPost is maintained by Taco Hoekwater.

The manual and tutorial are maintained by Stephan Hennig and Troy Henderson.


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