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My PDFs contain big ugly dots instead of text!
Can I use TrueType fonts instead of Type 1 fonts?
The created PDFs look ugly!
The PDF output is rotated!
PStill eats my hard disk space!
I cannot easily use PStill produced PDFs with pdflatex (from tetex 0.9). pdflatex will give me the following message: ! LaTeX Error: Cannot determine size of graphic in Figure.pdf (no BoundingBox).
How much to upgrade from a previous version?
I'm trying to convert a PhotoShop image that's been saved in EPS format, and I'm getting a row of little black dots on a gray background.
What does the DPI setting in the Output Options panel do?
Is there a command line version of PStill for Mac OS X?
How can I make sure the correct fonts are available when distilling Wolfram's Mathematica PostScript files?
PStill has problems converting . Is there anything I can do?
PStill has problems converting a .ps file created from a TeX file with dvips. Is there anything I can do?
Panther can handle showing EPS - do I still need the EPS to PDF filter provided by Pstill?



Q: My PDFs contain big ugly dots instead of text!

A: Be sure to install suitable Type 1 fonts. There should at least be a 'Courier' font for PStill to use for its default font. If it does not find it, PStill falls back to a very simple 'dot' font.


Q: Can I use TrueType fonts instead of Type 1 fonts?

A: Not directly. PStill does not support TrueType fonts and will not use or include them in the PDF. However you may use TTFs with your apps as most printer drivers produce PS where TTFs are auto-converted to Type 1 or Type 3 on printout.


Q: The created PDFs look ugly!

A: PStill always uses the best representation possible, but if you create your PostScript input files using Type 3 fonts or any other bitmap fonts PStill has no way of turning them into vector information and takes them as they are. Recreate your PS files using Type 1 fonts instead.


Q: The PDF output is rotated!

A: PStill does not look for the %%Feature comments so it may not notice any rotation setting there. Use the rotate option (under More Options) to rotate the output.


Q: PStill eats my hard disk space!

A: Sometimes PStill needs quite a lot space for its temp file, usually located in /tmp/PStill/. If it is aborted in its work, it may not be able to remove it completely. You can erase it yourself to reclaim the space (or run PStill again to remove its files).


Q: I cannot easily use PStill produced PDFs with pdflatex (from tetex 0.9). pdflatex will give me the following message: ! LaTeX Error: Cannot determine size of graphic in Figure.pdf (no BoundingBox).

A: pdtlatex does the same as dvips for PS: it outputs a PDF file directly from latex source (however this has some drawbacks as it may not be able convert embedded images like EPS; these must be provided to pdflatex as bitmap or PDF format). We recommend using latex/dvips. The PDFs PStill creates have no bounding box as this concept has no representation in PDF (no comments, so no DSC comments like %%BoundingBox). Use dvips together with Type 1 fonts (as described on www.this.net/~frank/pstill.html in the Adobe TechNote) and later distill the entire ps file to PDF using PStill for best results.


Q: How much to upgrade from a previous version?

A: See Stone Design for latest info - but at announce time, it was just $33. Please send your old license string to info@stone.com or include it when you order PStill from the Stone Secure Order Form.


Q: I'm trying to convert a PhotoShop image that's been saved in EPS format, and I'm getting a row of little black dots on a gray background.

A: Two things are happening here:
  1. You're getting an error message indicating that your file needs Level 2 support.. Go to Preferences->Output Options and check Level 2 PostScript.
  2. You can't read the error message because you don't have any fonts installed. PStill is trying to print out the error message, but only has the Dot font available. Be sure to install at least a Courier font; then error messages will be readable.


    Q: What does the DPI setting in the Output Options panel do?

    A: Although it sounds like it, the DPI setting does not mean the output is rescaled to this setting. It is the placement accuracy (in fact half of it) and only gives a measure for placement of vector points. If an EPS does a setflat to very small values (requesting a lot of curve points) and the DPI is high (higher than ~300) it is possible for PStill to take a lot time to process and even fail with a limitcheck error (if it runs out of path space). This does not mean the EPS is faulty; just lower the DPI and it converts well. Anything above 300 dpi is only needed for utmost precision (CAD conversions with lots of small details). Acrobat Distiller calculates internally with 144 DPI.


    Q: Is there a command line version of PStill for Mac OS X?

    A: YES! If you have PStill for Mac OS X, you can use this command line tool, "pstill":


    http://www.stone.com/PStill/PStill_CLL.tar.gz




    Use the PStill main application to set up your conversion preferences.


    Q: How can I make sure the correct fonts are available when distilling Wolfram's Mathematica PostScript files?

    A:

    1. Make sure you understand and abide by any font licensing issues

    2. Obtain a copy of the Type 1 versions of Mathematica's fonts. These fonts may be available in your Mathematica distribution or they can be downloaded from Mathematica's website (http://support.wolfram.com/mathematica/systems/macintosh/general/MathFonts_PostScript.sit.hqx).

    3. Unstuff the fonts, if this wasn't done automatically by your web browser

    4. Install the fonts into PStill. Either:

      • Drag the fonts into PStill's Font Manager window (Tools->Show Font Manager...) or

      • Copy the fonts into one of these three folders:

        • ~/Library/Fonts

        • /Library/Fonts

        • /Applications/PStill.app/Contents/Resources/PSFonts






    Q: PStill has problems converting . Is there anything I can do?

    A: Most distilling programs have problems with TeX dvips-generated PostScript files that contain bitmap fonts and have a lot of pages. These files can take a long time to convert and require a lot of memory as each glyph is handled as bitmap image. In addition, the PDF often looks rather bad in Acrobat Reader (as it does not optimize bitmaps like it does for Type 1 fonts) and is very large.

    There are two possible approaches. If you are doing the TeX conversion using dvips, see www.utdallas.edu/~cantrell/online/tex-pdf.html for information on obtaining Type 1 fonts and configuring dpips to embed those fonts rather than using bitmap fonts.

    If you have a .ps file that's already been created with bitmap fonts, you can try FixFont, which attempts to identify the embedded Computer Modern fonts and extract the bitmapped font code from the PostScript file. This might help PStill convert the file.


    Q: PStill has problems converting a .ps file created from a TeX file with dvips. Is there anything I can do?

    A: Most distilling programs have problems with TeX dvips-generated PostScript files that contain bitmap fonts and have a lot of pages. These files can take a long time to convert and require a lot of memory as each glyph is handled as bitmap image. In addition, the PDF often looks rather bad in Acrobat Reader (as it does not optimize bitmaps like it does for Type 1 fonts) and is very large.

    PStill 2.3.7 (12 November 2002) adds support for working with .ps files created with dvips. To use this feature:


    1. The .ps file must have "dvips" in its Creator string.

    2. You must have installed Type 1 fonts that match the Type 3 fonts used in the original .ps file.

    3. The original .ps file must not have been created with dvips' "comments removed" option. This option removes font names from the PostScript output, which makes it impossible for PStill to substitute appropriate Type 1 fonts.



    Other approaches:

    If you are doing the TeX conversion using dvips, see www.utdallas.edu/~cantrell/online/tex-pdf.html for information on obtaining Type 1 fonts and configuring dvips to embed those fonts rather than using bitmap fonts.

    If you have a .ps file that's already been created with bitmap fonts, you can try FixFont, which attempts to identify the embedded Computer Modern fonts and extract the bitmapped font code from the PostScript file. This might help PStill convert the file.


    Q: Panther can handle showing EPS - do I still need the EPS to PDF filter provided by Pstill?

    A: NO, not on Panther and subsequent releases




    Do you have a question not answered here? Email us!

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