[OS X TeX] (OT) converting old ps to pdf

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu Dec 21 06:20:57 EST 2006

Le 21 déc. 06 à 10:46, Victor Ivrii a écrit :

> It is known that old ps files are problematic and that old dvips was
> the culprit. Let us look f.e.
> http://www.math.toronto.edu/quastel/pre.html
> and download any old ps document.

The problem, I think, does not lie in dvips. It lies, instead, in the  
fact that PK (bitmap) versions of the Computer Modern fonts were  
used, instead of PS Type 1 (vectorial) versions. There are several  
such versions: the CM/PS and AMS/PS fonts from Blue Sky Research and  
Y&Y, made public-domain under the auspices of a consortium led by the  
AMS; the CM-Super fonts; the Latin Modern fonts.

By default, on modern TeX installations the CM/PS and AMS/PS fonts  
are used when generating a PDF file (using either TeX + GhostScript,  
or pdfTeX). On Gerben's TeXLive-based distro, for example, these  
fonts can be found in /usr/local/TeXLive/texmf.texlive/fonts/type1/ 

What is needed is a utility to recreate the PDF files, embedding  
vectorial instead of bitmap fonts. There might be a utility to do  
that from the PS files, processing these files to extract any  
reference to bitmap fonts and replace these by vectorial fonts  
whenever available.

However, given the original DVI files are also available, it is  
fairly easy to recreate from them PDF files containing vectorial  
instead of bitmap fonts. You can use dvips + GhostScript, or dvipdfm 
(x) for that. For example, I just tried to drag <http:// 
www.math.toronto.edu/quastel/papers/LDGL.dvi> onto TeXShop. This  
produces a PDF file containing vectorial fonts only, devoid of the  
problems you mention and much nicer than the PDF file obtained from  

But maybe this is already what you meant by:

> PS I told to m y esteemed colleagues many times to either throw away
> old ps files (no point to keep them as long as there is dvi and no
> graphics which is usually the case), or to regenerate from dvi files
> or better to  rejuvenate latex files (adding hyperref) and regenerate
> pdf. They never listen.

I'd be interested in a pointer to a utility, if any, taking PS files  
based on PK fonts and transforming them into PS files based on PS  
Type 1 fonts.

Bruno Voisin
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