[OS X TeX] Re: IEEE .pdf Checker

Anthony Morton amorton at fastmail.fm
Wed Apr 9 17:57:48 EDT 2008

> I'm sorry that I haven't been able to follow the advice in the  
> correspondence that followed.  For now I was able to submit my .tex  
> files and get it converted to pdf by the IEEE. Unfortunately they  
> only give 3 chances to pass the checker on each paper being  
> submitted.  (I did successfully submit a paper over a year ago  
> without any difficulty and I don't recall making any changes since  
> then - but I must have).

No, you haven't changed anything, it's just that the IEEE has for some  
reason got nit-picky about what version your PDF file is.

There is no reason whatever that an ordinary PDF paper needs to use a  
version of PDF newer than 1.3 (the one produced by Acrobat 4), but it  
seems the IEEE now regards this as 'obsolete' and insists on PDF 1.4  
(as produced by Acrobat 5).  It strikes me as an instance of 'quality  
control gone mad' but we'll have to live with it.

An up-to-date pdftex will indeed produce PDF version 1.4, as others  
have stated.  But I gather you're using TeX+ghostscript processing,  
since you're including EPS images, and for some reason the current  
MacTeX distribution installs as the default PDF converter the one that  
produces 'obsolete' version 1.3 output - even though it also provides  
a PDF converter for version 1.4.

The 'cleanest' remedy, assuming you installed MacTeX, might just be to  
type the following commands in Terminal:

cd /usr/local/bin
sudo rm ps2pdf
sudo ln -s ps2pdf14 ps2pdf

and type your password when prompted to do so.  Again, on the  
assumption you installed MacTeX, this will do no harm since the  
'ps2pdf' installed is just a byte-for-byte copy of 'ps2pdf13' that you  
will also find in the same place.  (You can check this yourself by  
typing 'diff ps2pdf ps2pdf13' in Terminal after doing the 'cd /usr/ 
local/bin': if you don't see any output from this the two are indeed  

Unfortunately, this may not fix everything if you use TeXShop, since  
the 'simpdftex' script it uses for TeX+ghostscript processing hard- 
codes the use of ps2pdf13 by default.  So in this case you need to do  
what Bruno suggested.  Go to the TeXShop Preferences, select the  
'Engine' tab, and then look at the box near the bottom right that will  
currently contain

	simpdftex latex --maxpfb

and change this to

	simpdftex latex --maxpfb --distiller ps2pdf14

or (perhaps better), if you used the commands above, to

	simpdftex latex --maxpfb --distiller ps2pdf

which might be more future-proof.

Hopefully this will sort out your problems.

(Note to the MacTeX maintainers: there's probably a case for replacing  
'ps2pdf13' with 'ps2pdf' in the simpdftex script, and ensuring ps2pdf  
is linked to the current version instance.)

Tony M.

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list