[pdftex] PSTricks

Timothy Murphy tim at maths.tcd.ie
Thu Jan 17 15:42:45 CET 2002

On Thu, Jan 17, 2002 at 09:12:22AM -0400, George N. White III wrote:

> It is useful to consider the differences between PostScript, a Turing
> complete programming language, and PDF, which is a document description
> "language" that happens to use the PostScript imaging model. PStricks uses
> \specials to pass PostScript language commands to do calculations
> when the document is rendered using a PostScript interpreter.
> With PDFtex, such calculations must be done when the PDF file is
> created so the results can be put into the PDF file. In practice, this
> means you have to run some sort of interpreter, either PostScript (e.g.,
> ghostscript) or metapost while you are formatting with pdftex.
> Metapost produces PostScript that does not require runtime calculations,
> so can be translated directly into PDF using TeX macros.  The graphics
> package has this capability.

I'm no PDF guru, but I recall that in the PDF specification
(or at least, in the one I read a couple of years ago)
it said that PostScript graphics _could_ be included in a PDF file,
but that they might not be printed.

The implication seemed to be that they might be printed, if one was lucky.

I know pdftex/pdflatex would not allow you to include such graphics,
but I wondered if in fact PDF files with PostScript objects
can normally be printed, and if so do the PS graphics normally appear?

Timothy Murphy  
e-mail: tim at maths.tcd.ie
tel: 086-233 6090
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

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