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Tips on Producing PDF Files from LaTeX

A few tips from Erez Zadok, FREENIX '03 Program Chair, for people using LaTeX for the first time:

  • Use dvips to produce a postscript file from your DVI, and then ps2pdf to produce the final PDF. Tools that produce PDF directly from DVI/TEX files don't always do a good job.
  • Be sure to use appropriate fonts. Times Roman is best, and it is included in the usetex-v1.cls package.
  • Most latex distributions out there contain a dvips tool that by default formats the postscript file for A4 paper. Force dvips to produce a format for US-Letter style by using:
    	dvips -t letter
  • dvips may not include bitmapped fonts in the produced PS correctly. If you then produce a PDF file, you may get errors from acroread or xpdf, because it will miss those fonts. When latex formats the round bullets for lists, it uses such a bitmapped font. The solution is to tell dvips to include bitmapped fonts in the PS file, as follows:
    	dvips -Pcmz -t letter -o foo.dvi

    If you don't use -Pcmz, or you use another -P option, you may find odd font problems in your paper (for example, "f" followed by "i" becomes one character or is replaced with the British Sterling character).

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    Last changed: 31 March 2003 jel
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