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

zsdc zsdc at wp.pl
Wed Jun 4 22:04:00 CEST 2003

Karl Berry wrote:

>(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.
Thanks, now I understand. But if DVI files don't include the glyph 
shapes, how can they be really device-independent? What if I send my DVI 
file to someone, who has slightly different fonts installed? Wouldn't I 
get different results then?

First I thought that a DVI file looks always the same, always and 
everywhere, differing only in quality, much like PostScript. But now it 
seems to me that the DVI files have to look different, unless someone 
has exactly the same fonts installed and the same resolution of printer. 
Or am I missing something here?

>    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
Actually, in the current stable Debian there is teTeX 
1.0.7+20011202-7... I'm surprised that it's such an old version. 
Unfortunately it's impossible for me to download the newer version right 
now, but I'll take a look at the newer version as soon as I can. Thanks 
a lot.

>On my system, texmf/web2c/updmap.cfg has the following words of wisdom,
>perhaps they will help:
The only *updmap* file in my teTeX config I got is 
/etc/texmf/dvips/updmap shell script. It had type1_default=false, which 
I have now changed to true, but I still have bitmapped fonts in my PS 
files... I don't know, maybe I only have bitmap fonts in teTeX? But it 
should complain if it doesn't have the right Type 1 fonts, instead of 
quitely using bitmap instead, so I'm not sure what's going on here...

>    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 :).
Thanks, I'll try to write there if I fail to solve this problem. I 
didn't write to teTeX mailing lists in the first place, because I read 
not to post any general TeX questions there, but I guess my questions 
are not so general after all, and they may have more to do in the 
particular implementation, than with the TeX itself.

>    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.
What are the advantages of PDF over PostScript? (I mean, other than the 
possibility of using digital rights restriction mechanisms, forms and 
hyperlinks -- what I'm talking about is preparing documents for print.)

I constantly see using PDF format everywhere where PostScript used to be 
used before, but I have really no idea why is that happening. The 
document has to be converted to PostScript before sending to PostScript 
printer anyway, so why not store it as PostScript in the first place?

Is there any reason for using PDF for things, which PostScript was 
invented for?

>    (Sorry for my bad english, I'm not a native speaker.)
>Hey, your English is excellent!
Thanks a lot. :-)


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