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

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Thu Dec 21 06:50:05 EST 2006

On 12/21/06, Bruno Voisin <bvoisin at mac.com> wrote:
> 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.

I made an experiment few years ago when our main sever had  an  "old"
dvips (dated 1998). If in the chain

tex -> dvi -> ps -> pdf

"old" dvips was used then the completely messed up text layer
appeared. No matter if I used up-to-date tex or ps2pdf on my Mac.

However if I used dvips on my Mac, then even if I used outdated latex
or ps2pdf on the server, the result was perfect. There was also a
period (observed with the later dvips) when

dvips -Ppdf

produced ps file which could be converted into good pdf but without
this switch it produced ps good for printing only.

> 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/
> bluesky/.
> 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
> <http://www.math.toronto.edu/quastel/papers/LDGL.ps>.

Not only nice but with the text layer: one can copy/paste and search (properly)

There was my point. However with

Preview made a lousy conversion and  ps2pdf made much better job.

> 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.

Yes. The point was that there are plenty of old bad ps still floating around.

> 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

Victor Ivrii, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto

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