Postscript to PDF - why are the fonts wonky?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by gfroyle, Jan 2, 2005.

  1. gfroyle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    #1
    I am sure that this is a trivial question for people who know about fonts, but a fair amount of searching has not given me the answer.

    I often download documents in Postscript, and if I use X11 and gv I can view them and print them quite happily. But often I would prefer to store them in PDF and just use Preview, and so try to convert them using "ps2pdf". Trouble is, the fonts go all wonky - the beautiful crisp outlines of a Postscript letter become a sort of wavy letter with an almost pixellated look (not quite, but I don't know how to describe it). Obviously some sort of incorrect font substitution is happening, but I don't know how to fix it..

    Thanks

    gordon
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #2
    First off, you don't have to convert your PostScript files. You can open them directly in Preview. Other than not understanding all of the tools at your disposal, your problem is that ps2pdf is converting all PostScript in your documents to generic outlines. In doing so, each PostScript character is also converted to an outline and loses its identity. If you insist on distilling your PostScript files to PDF, get Adobe Acrobat Professional. Use Adobe Distiller to distill PostScript into PDF.

    If per chance your documents originated as TeX files, you should use texshop or iTeXMac. Each is an Aqua-based front end to teTeX. Either produces lovely PDF files with none of the stairstepping that annoys you so.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #3
    Actually one more ad-on. Not only can you view .ps in Preview, but when you open them in them preview, they automatically get converted to PDF files. So you can save them as PDFs out of Preview. Maybe try and see if you get better conversion from Preview? :)
     
  4. gfroyle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    #4
    Thanks for the replies, but I probably should have added a bit more information about what I know..

    When I generate my *own* papers/articles etc, I use TeXShop to produce PDF directly, and of course it comes out perfectly.

    The problem occurs when I download other people's Postscript files which I would like to store in PDF format - whether I use Preview to convert them or ps2pdf the output is the same (in fact, I believe that they both use the same underlying program to do the conversion).

    Somehow, I have to specify what should happen to the fonts on conversion to PDF so that the PDF does not attempt to "approximate" the fonts, but rather uses the correct fonts.

    Maybe it would be easier just to store them as Postscript and put up with having to start up X11 every time I want to read them?

    Cheers

    Gordon
     
  5. neilrobinson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Location:
    Perth, WA, Australia
    #5
    can you send me one of the .ps files??? - i will try it with adobe distiller and see what happens.
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    What do you need to do in X11 that you can't do in the MacOS X Aqua GUI?
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    Hehehe I'll let Gordon explain why he wants to use TeX... ;)

    Try this:

    http://latex.yauh.de/faq/index.php?aktion=artikel&rubrik=007&id=123&lang=en

    It seems to address the issue that you're having, which is that you are producing PS through TeX and X11, causing the PDF to refer to X11 fonts, which are getting substituted for by different (visually, but maybe not by name?) OS X fonts...
     

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