[tex-eplain] pdftex vs. `dvips -> ps2pdf': hyperlinks

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sun Jun 19 23:52:49 CEST 2016

Hi Rodolfo,

I'm certainly not one to discourage use of Knuth's TeX, but I would not
call pdftex impure or complicated.  It's just a program, a nice
extension of TeX.  xetex and luatex are vastly more radical extensions,
for their own reasons.

The PostScript effects could presumably be achieved, though admittedly
in kind of an ugly way, by convering the PS to PDF separately and
including them.  This is where, in my life, Makefiles win.


    do you think it would be possibile, 

As a matter of principle, I believe that nearly anything that can be
done in pdftex can also be done with dvips|ps2pdf.  Some things are a
lot harder, since pdftex has simultaneous access to the TeX input and
PDF output.  Compared to having to pass everything into the DVI file
with TeX \specials, and then on to the PS file with pdfmark in such a
way that Ghostscript (or whatever distiller) does the right thing, with
many opportunities for problems at every step.

So my answer to "is it possible" is "almost certainly yes".

    and how?, to have the same hyperlinks accuracy also with ps2pdf?

But as for how, I'm afraid I have no idea off the top of my head.  I'd
need to study an example and research what is going on to cause the
discrepancy, as I did with the outline stuff.  As you know, I'm woefully
far behind on all fronts -- the "cross-reference hyperlinks between
different files" is already in my queue, with a lot of other things
unavoidably in front of it :(.  So I hope someone else can come forward
to delve into these things, if you cannot do it yourself.

Happy TeXing,

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