[pdftex] errors from AR caused by color package

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Sun May 23 06:54:50 CEST 2004

Hi Ben,

On 23/05/2004, at 2:32 PM, Ben Crowell wrote:

> Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>> Please look at the logfiles to be sure that in both your examples
>> pdftex.def is loaded.
> I checked, and it is.

>> I suppose that your problem has nothing to do with pdfTeX, it's more
>> likely that a wrong driver file is loaded.
> Wow, thanks for putting so much effort into this! But I'm afraid I'm
> not understanding the point of what you're doing here at all.
>> Does it make a difference if you say
>> \RequirePackage[pdftex]{color} ?
> Aha! Yes, that cures all the problems! Thanks!!

OK; here's a possible explanation:

  1.  You do not have a  color.cfg  file in your
TeX installation; or you have one that is so old
that it doesn't check for  pdfTeX .
(Check your .log  files, to verify this.)

  2.  For the example that didn't work, you loaded
color.sty  and used  \definecolor  while the driver
was still set as the default of  'dvips'.
This resulted in invalid PostScript coding, instead
of PDF coding, for the .6 gray color...

However, ...

  3.  when the \usepackage[pdftex]{graphics} was
encountered, the driver becomes 'pdftex'.
(The .log shows  pdftex.def  being read, but this
is *too late* for colors that have been setup

Thus when the gray color is used, you get a string
intended for PostScript mixed-in with a wrapper
for PDF.  That causes AR to baulk.

In your 2nd example, the  \definecolor  occurs
after the driver has been set correctly (for
graphics as well as color) so that example works!

You should be able to test this, by moving the
to occur *before* loading the  color  package.
If I'm right, then both examples should now work.

Of course, the best solution for you is to get
an up-to-date  color.cfg  installed in an
appropriate place.  Mine is at ...

[GlenLivet:] rossmoor% kpsewhich color.cfg

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia                                  fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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