[texhax] TeX -> PostScript, but in a resolution-independent manner

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed Jun 4 10:41:21 CEST 2003

(Will's response came in as I writing this, it's probably more useful :)

    I found out that DVI files use bitmap fonts. 

Actually, DVI files do not define anything at all about the actual glyph
shapes, let alone whether bitmap or outline fonts get used.  All the DVI
file does is refer to font names (cmr10, ptmr, etc.) and sizes.  It's up
to the dvi driver to decide what font to use -- cmr10.600pk or
cmr10.pfb, for example.

    I still get bitmap fonts in fixed resolution

Whether dvips uses bitmap or outline fonts depends on the exact
configuration.  I'm not sure which version of teTeX you have; if it's
much older than 2.0.2, you might want to install it yourself from

On my system, texmf/web2c/updmap.cfg has the following words of wisdom,
perhaps they will help:

  # Should dvips (by default) prefer bitmap fonts or outline fonts
  # if both are available? Independend of this setting, outlines
  # can be forced by putting "p outline.map" into a config file
  # that dvips reads. Bitmaps (for the fonts in question) can
  # be forced by putting "p pk.map" into a config file.
  # We provide such config files which can be enabled via
  # dvips -Poutline ... resp. dvips -Ppk ...
  # Valid settings for dvipsPreferOutline are true / false:
  dvipsPreferOutline true

    please just point me to the right FM which I have to read.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure if there is any good description of how all
this really works in practice.  The dvips manual explains all about the
.map file syntax which actually define the fonts to get downloaded, but
I've never seen any real documentation on updmap, and couldn't find it
quickly on google.

If problems persist, I suggest writing to tex-k at tug.org or
tetex at dbs.uni-hannover.de, which are specifically for problems
configuring and using dvips, tetex, etc.  In particular, I don't believe
Thomas Esser (the `te') is on texhax :).

    Maybe there is a way to convert TeX files directly to PostScript, 
    without the DVI stage?

No, but it *is* possible to generate PDF (rather than PostScript)
directly, using pdftex (or pdflatex), if that's of interest.

    (Sorry for my bad english, I'm not a native speaker.)

Hey, your English is excellent!


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