[texhax] Achieving the optimum quality of rendering

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Mar 5 01:00:14 CET 2014

On 2014-03-04 at 19:30:40 +0100, Ulrike Fischer wrote:

 > Am Tue, 4 Mar 2014 02:41:45 +0100 schrieb Reinhard Kotucha:
 > >> In the final version, I would like the best possible quality of
 > >> rendering and I believe that to be a pdf file.
 > > For the final version I recommend to run latexmk.  Don't know
 > > whether latexmk is provided by MiKTeX, but you aren't forced to
 > > use MiKTeX.
 > latexmk is in miktex but you probably need an external perl to run
 > it. But I fail to see what impact latexmk should have on the
 > quality of the pdf output.

Ulrike, you only cited a tiny part of Keith's mail.  And it was too
late last night to answer his question more thoroughly.

Well, it has no impact on quality, of course.  However, I don't think
that two latex runs are enough, as Keith probably assumed, especially
if a bibliography and/or index is needed.  In order to make sure that
everything is correct before the document is submitted I recommended
latexmk.  I've seen documents with incorrect page numbers -- obviously
the author forgot the last run.

In order to preview the file while writing it, IMO it doesn't matter
which way to go.  I wouldn't even compile twice each time since it's
irrelevant whether page numbers in the TOC are correct while editing
complicated math formulas.  In this case it's more important that the
tool chain is fast.  Though it's a matter of fact that creating DVI is
faster than creating PDF I'm still convinced that TeXworks is a
better choice than TeXnicCenter due to its fast previewer.

As to quality: As others pointed out already, the biggest mistake one
can do is to convert vector graphics to bitmaps.  Bitmaps are only
good for photographs (JPEG) or for screen shots (PNG).  Vector
graphics can be converted from PostScript to PDF and vice versa
without loss of quality.

William Hammond mentioned a shell script which converts bitmap images
to PostScript or PDF.  It depends on ImageMagick and thus is quite
slow and creates files which are much larger than necessary.  And
shell scripts don't work on native Windows.

My favorite tool is sam2p.  It supports many bitmap formats, is very
fast, creates smaller files than any other tool, there is no loss of
quality, and is easy to use.  And as a command-line tool it can be
invoked by scripts.  It was written for TeX users in the first place.



sam2p is part of TeX Live and W32TeX.  Don't know about MiKTeX.

It's a pity that only very few TeX users are aware of this great tool.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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