[pdftex] Pale print with Adobe Reader

Rodolfo Medina rodolfo.medina at gmail.com
Tue Mar 13 17:50:39 CET 2007

On 3/8/07, Rodolfo Medina <rodolfo.medina at gmail.com> wrote:

>>> I did:
>>>  $ tex file.tex
>>> and got file.dvi; then
>>>  $ dvips file.dvi -o
>>> and got file.ps; then
>>>  $ ps2pdf file.ps
>>> and got file.pdf. Now, with some printers the print all right; with some it
>>> comes out very pale. If I use pdftex:
>>>  $ pdftex file.tex
>>> , the result is even worse. The same printer prints other pdf files fine.
>>> I need printing my pdf file through MS Windows and Adobe or Acrobat
>>> Reader. I
>>> tried all the possible settings and options in the print dialog window with
>>> no
>>> result. Any hint? Maybe a way to properly set the brightness/resolution when
>>> creating the pdf file with ps2pdf or with pdftex?

"George N. White III" <gnwiii at gmail.com> writes:

>> With current outline fonts, most systems are quite good at reproducing
>> the intended
>> appearance.  With bitmapped fonts, there can be considerable variation
>> in the appearance of a given document depending on the settings used
>> to generate the bitmapped (.pk) fonts, the version of Adobe Reader and
>> the printer.
>> To understand the problem, you need to examine the following questions:
>> 1.  which fonts are used in the pdf files?
>> 2. do the pdf files contain outline fonts or bitmapped?
>> Adobe Reader can provide some information, as can the logs and output
>> from your commands.
>> 3.  How does your document with a properly typeset example (e.g., a
>> book or journal) using the same fonts?
>> For most implementations, the default will be some derivative of the
>> Computer Modern fonts.  Certainly the CM fonts have quite narrow
>> stokes when compared to more widely used fonts, but that is by design.
>> If you just want "darker" fonts, there are many font families that can
>> be used with pdftex.
>> Most current TeX distributions support a number of free font families,
>> and there are commercial fonts suitable for use with pdftex.
> If you can't answer the questions about the fonts that are used in the pdf
> file
> from the information in Adobe Reader and the log files, you have no
> way of knowing
> whether your problem is with the design of the fonts or with your
> pdftex configuration, and you won't be able to verify that any new
> configuration is working properly.
> Look at <http://tug.org/fonts/> for extensive comparisons and
> discussion of fonts
> in TeX.
> When choosing fonts, there are a number of issues to consider:
> 1.  do you need extensive mathematics support?  If not, you can consider the
> Adobe "base" fonts or even the "laserwriter 35" fonts, for which good quality
> "clone" versions are freely available (e.g., with ghostscript).  Adobe
> used to provide the "base" fonts with the "reader" program, but over
> the years they have switched the
> fonts provided with the "reader", so it becomes important to be able
> to distinguish between fonts embedded in the pdf file and fonts
> supplied by the "reader" program.
> 2.  does your budget allow you to purchase fonts?  The Lucida family
> <http://tug.org/lucida/> is inexpensive, well supported (in LateX and
> ConTeXt),
> and has a useful set of math glyphs.   The Mathtime family is more of
> a compromise
> for people who want maths in documents visually compatible with others
> created with the widely used Times-Roman family.
> 3.  will you be distributing pdf files, sending them to a publisher,
> etc.?  If so, you need to
> worry about license conditions, or stick with fonts included in the
> free distributions
> (TeX Live, MikTeX, various linux distributions)
> 4.  which tex format (plain.fmt, latex.fmt, cont-xx.fmt, etc) do you
> want to use?
> Setting up fonts can be a lot of work.  For an example, look at the
> mathtime-pln package on CTAN.   Many people have provide
> configurations for LaTeX or ConTeXt, so switching fonts is often
> simply a matter of editing a couple lines in your document preamble.

I was using the default Donald Knuth's plain TeX fonts cmr12 and cmti12. Now
the problem seems to be solved using the ptmr font and compiling the tex file
with pdftex:

 $ pdftex file.tex

. Instead, if I do:

 $ tex file.tex
 $ dvips file.dvi -o
 $ ps2pdf file.ps

, with some printers the result is messing and garbage. Can anybody understand


More information about the pdftex mailing list