MetaPost interprets the MetaPost language and produces PostScript (EPS)
or Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) pictures. The MetaPost language is similar
to Knuths METAFONT with additional features for including
commands and accessing features of PostScript not found in METAFONT.
MetaPost is normally used with some preloaded macros, and it
will use its executable name as the name of the preload
file to use. For example, when called as
mpost.mp file is used, which is identical to
plain.mp. When the
--ini option is given, preloading does not happen.
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 MetaPosts favorite symbols, like semicolons, unless you
quote them.) The normal usage is to say
mpost figs to process the file
figs.mp. The basename of
figs becomes the jobname,
and is used in forming output file names. If no file is named, the
mpout. The default extension,
.mp, can be overridden by specifying an extension explicitly.
--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 http://tug.org/metapost.
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 METAFONTs online display mechanism.
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.
The primary author of the current MetaPost was Taco Hoekwater, with
assistance from Hans Hagen and many others. It is currently maintained
by Luigi Scarso.
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