[texhax] PostScript output (from XeTeX)?

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Fri Dec 3 14:59:57 CET 2010

On Dec 3, 2010, at 8:16 AM, Peter Davis wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 8:04 AM, William Adams <will.adams at frycomm.com> wrote:
> On Dec 2, 2010, at 3:00 PM, Peter Davis wrote:
> > There are shops whose workflows are highly optimized around PostScript.  
> Pure PDF RIPs, and especially PDF/VT (the variable-transactional version of PDF) are relatively new and not widely used.  Probably most RIPs in the world convert PDF to PostScript before rasterizing.
> Fair enough, but if one is going to limit oneself to last century's technology then one should not be surprised that one is bound to the limitations of last century's font and encoding limitations &c. w/o some work-arounds I'd be loathe to use in a production environment.
> Unfortunately, older technology does not instantly disappear the minute something better is invented.  In delivering software solutions, it's often necessary to work with what is deployed, as most companies tend to have finite budgets.

Which should be spent wisely. I know a RIP is a big investment (we recently upgraded ours), but the Adobe PDF Print Engine is an excellent bit of software, and well worth it.

> >See my TUG2003 paper on using Zapfino for one such work-around.
> Do you mean "There is no end: Omega and Zapfino", TUGboat 24(2)?  Looks interesting.  I'll take a look. 

Yep. I don't think it's of anything other than historical interest now though.


> There are commercial workflows today that depend on PostScript as the page description language, so that's the world I must work in.

If that's the case, I'd look at wrapping up all of the complex Unicode stuff in .eps files and pulling those in w/ some sort of PostScript-oriented workflow.

Probably one could re-work xdvipdfmx so as to emit PostScript code instead (as you are aware, PDF is in many ways a subset of PostScript), but I suspect one would find a lot of edge cases which would mung up a lot of paper before one achieved tool one could rely on.


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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