John Heidemann / Other Stuff / Free Unix / Latex PDF

Notes about generating PDF from TeX/LaTeX:

Problem: Tex and LaTeX usually produce great output except when you generate pdf from them. Then their computer modern fonts often end up as bitmaps that look horrible in acroread and don’t display at all in xpdf. If you try using postscript fonts (with \usepackage{times}, then the ligatures (like “fi” and “ff”) are replaced with things like the British pound symbol.

Best work-around: The best work-around I’ve found it so write the document without any special font packages, then generate the pdf via dvips and ps2pdf this way:

dvips -t Letter -f -Ppdf -G0 -Z paper.dvi >
ps2pdf paper.pdf

What does all that mean? “-t Letter” uses letter-size paper, -f means send the output to stdout, -Ppdf means use the configuration on most Linux systems (in /usr/share/texmf/dvips/config/config.pdf on Redhat Linux), -G0 is undocumented magic dealing with font mapping (this is the most important bit), -Z means to compress any bitmap fonts that appear. The ps2pdf part is straightforward.

Copyright © 1995-2016 by John Heidemann