How to PDF Documents in Linux

Using ps2pdf in Linux

There is a Linux utility called ps2pdf which will convert from a PostScript file to PDF format.

The syntax for using ps2pdf is as follows:
ps2pdf output.pdf

You can convert a document to PostScript from Windows by installing a non-existing PostScript printer which prints to file.

Using Windows and Linux to Generate PDF Documents

Method Win-Linux:

Use Windows to print to a PostScript printer driver. Linux will then be able to convert the PostScript file to .PDF.

Operating System Used: Windows 2000 Professional
Source Document Format: Microsoft Word
Solution to convert from .DOC to .PS: Install a PostScript Printer
Printer Driver Installed (Non-Existing Printer): “HP Color LaserJet PS”
Local Printer Port Used: “file: Print to File”

I then made the following adjustments in the printer configuration
section (Make these changes under Start, Settings, Printers):

HP Color LaserJet PS Advanced Options:

Graphic: TrueType Font: Substitute with Device Font
Document Options: PostScript Options:
PostScript Output Option:
 Optimize for Portability
Document Options: PostScript Options:
TrueType Font Download Option:

Then print your Microsoft Word Document to the non-existing PostScript Printer.
The print driver will then ask for a filename and location to save the print job.

Then copy the file to Linux, then
run ps2pdf filename.pdf

After a short bit you will have a finished filename.pdf

Check out filename.pdf and see if it looks correct using your .PDF reader.

Suggestions for making a portable .PDF is to have the fonts embedded in the .PDF document. This will of course make the .PDF file a bit larger than being without the embedded fonts. If you are using basic fonts then there shouldn’t be much of a problem with this, that is why I have chosen to “Substitute with Device Font”.

Other Choices for “Graphic: TrueType Font:”

  • Substitute with Device Font
  • Download as SoftFont

Other Choices for “Document Options: PostScript Options: PostScript Output Option:”

  • Optimize for Speed
  • Optimize for Portability
  • Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
  • Archive Format

Other Choices for “Document Options: PostScript Options: TrueType Font Download Option:”

  • Automatic
  • Outline
  • Bitmap
  • Native TrueType

After I finished the above method (ps printer with proper settings and then ps2pdf) I couldn’t tell the difference between the .DOC and the .PDF when both were printed on my “Lexmark Optra S 2450” printer (and both printed from the same Windows 2000 Professional workstation).

The first time I viewed the .PDF the fonts were really bad, then I adjusted the PostScript printer settings, now the final result is very clean. I am pleased with the conversion.

Using Linux Only to Generate PDF Documents

More information will be available on this method “after” I do it myself.


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