First, some basic definitions and facts. DVI is the output format produced by TeX, the premier system for typesetting mathematical material. PostScript is the standard control language for laser printers, and can also be read on-screen by programs such as GhostView. PDF is the format read by the increasingly popular Acrobat viewer.

Most often a .dvi file is converted to a .ps (PostScript) file before printing. Frequently a .ps file is converted to a .pdf file for viewing on-screen. However, .dvi files are smaller than the corresponding .ps and .pdf files, so there are advantages in download time and disk space in using .dvi files directly for Web display.

On most TAMU computer systems (including all in the math department) the Web browser is configured to read DVI with a "helper application" such as XDVI (on Unix systems). To read DVI files on your own PC, however, you need to get and install your own such DVI viewer. Here are several essentially free ones: (I am personally familiar only with the first two on the list. Items 4-6 were noted by Brian Sladecek via Professor R. Lorentz, who says "the first two [4 and 5] seem easier to install.")

  1. CDVI may be used freely by students and faculty at Texas A&M, but they may not redistribute it to others. I can provide you with two diskettes containing self-extracting ZIP files to install CDVI, along with installation instructions and a page of documentation. You need about 2 megabytes for CDVI.
  2. Another freely available DVI viewer is DVIWIN, by H. Sendoukas, with installation and Metafont integration by J. Costella, which can be downloaded from . DVIWIN manufactures fonts whenever it needs them, so it requires less disk space than CDVI but operates more slowly, at least at first. The screen output is better than CDVI's.
  3. DVIPDFM by M. Wicks translates .dvi files into .pdf (Acrobat) files. It can be downloaded from
  4. This appears to be a mirror site for the Sendoukas-Costella package.
  5. Yet another version of Sendoukas.
Last updated Mon 28 Feb 00