[OS X TeX] PS (from TeX) to good PDF

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Wed Mar 2 04:30:41 EST 2005

On 2 mrt 2005, at 10:19, Lawrence Paulson wrote:

> As an academic, I frequently download papers in the form of PostScript 
> files generated by TeX on UNIX machines. I've tried many ways of 
> converting these PostScript files to PDF, including Acrobat Distiller. 
> However, the resulting PDF seldom allows search or text selection.

They are probably using bitmapped metafont lettering, in an odd 
encoding (normal OT1 TeX encoding is odd enough to throw of any Adobe 
tool). The short answer is: if you don't have the TeX source, I'm 
afraid there is not much you can do. However, you might try to run the 
ps file though ps2ps to transcode it into standards compliant PS 
(structuring conventions and such). It may help, but I'm afraid it will 
not help in the indexing mess. Try to convince the journal or the 
author that using pdftex as the engine is really much better. (pdftex 
includes the encoding so that the adobe tools know what to look for).

> Acrobat has a tool (based on OCR) that can make rasterized PDFs 
> searchable, but it seems unable to cope with the PostScript that 
> emerges from TeX systems. Is there no way of cleaning up this sort of 
> PostScript?

That is because the files aren't really bitmapped, but they _do_ 
include the fonts (only in an odd encoding, so Acrobat has a hard time 
converting numbers from the encoding into letters you can use.


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