PDF files from (La)TeX documents

At the current time there are two common ways of creating PDF files from (La)TeX documents. One is to go through the use of a device independent (.dvi) file and the dvipdf device driver. The other, more recent, way is to go directly from the .tex file to the .pdf file by means of pdf(la)tex. Since LaTeX is more commonly used, to be clear able what is typed, only the LaTex commands will be given here. Although command line instructions are given here, they also indicate the sequence followedby GUI interfaces.

In the first (.dvi) method the steps are

  1. create your LaTeX document, filename.tex, with any text editor (word processors should be avoided as they put in stray characters)
  2. At the terminal/command prompt, issue the command latex filename.tex to create filename.dvi
  3. At the terminal/command prompt, issue the command pdflatex file.dvi to create filename.pdf

In the second (pdflatex) method the steps are

  1. create your LaTeX document, filename.tex, with any text editor (word processors should be avoided as they put in stray characters)
  2. At the terminal/command prompt, issue the command pdflatex filename.tex to generate filename.pdf

Note: in both cases step 2 is repeated as necessary to generate those parts (e.g., table of contents, cross references) that are dependent on information, such as page number, from later parts of the document. To have this information available for the next time through step 2, at least one additional file is generated containing the necessary information. In most cases one repeat is sufficient.

As with other other PDF files check that fonts are embedded.

Why a font might not be embedded

 

All PDF viewers have specific fonts included. The most frequently used of these included fonts are known as the Base 14 fonts. These fonts are

  • Courier
  • Courier-Bold
  • Courier-BoldOblique
  • Courier-Oblique
  • Helvetica
  • Helvetica-Bold
  • Helvetica-BoldOblique
  • Helvetica-Oblique
  • Symbol
  • Times-Bold
  • Times-BoldItalic
  • Times-Italic
  • Times Roman
  • ZapfDingbats

 

To make the resulting PDF file as small as possible, by default, the Base 14 fonts are not embedded. The requirement for electronic submission of a dissertation is that all fonts be embedded to ensure that online and print versions are identical. To embed the Base 14 fonts, the parameter pdftexDownloadBase14 in updmap.cfg must be set to true. With TeX Live 2008's default installation this parameter should be true. If it is not the case with your installation, follow the instructions with the installation for changing the parameter as the change does more than just changing the value of the parameter in the updmap.cfg file.