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Creating PDF Files

The Review of Economic Dynamics now welcomes and encourages electronic submissions at all stages of the process, including first submissions. We hope this will speed up even further the publication process. Soon, we will even require that a PDF file accompany any submission. We require, however, that the submitted paper be in one, and only one, PDF file. Please find below some tips for the creation of such PDF files. Note it is likely that software you already use or have ready access to can generate PDF files. General recommendations
  • Always embed all the fonts when saving the PDF file. Indeed, if another computer does not have the same fonts as yours, it may not be able to display properly your text. See some specifics below regarding problems with various types of software.
  • Check in your pdf file whether your fonts have been embeded: in Acrobat Reader do 'properties-> fonts' and see if any font substitution is taking place. If yes, this is a bad sign.

Ways to create PDF files

  • Acrobat Distiller is a commercial product included in several packages sold by Adobe. Academic prices are usually very reasonable, and it is available for many platforms. It requires that you have a PostScript file ready. One interesting feature of Distiller, or its accompanying programs, is that it can concatenate PDF files and rotate pages, for example. Also, many instititutions have facilities to uses Distiller automatically, whereby one only needs to place a PostScript file in a given directory on a given machine to get the PDF file (of course, the PostScript file needs to have any ususal font embeded).
  • Acrobat PDFWriter is another commercial product part of some Adobe packages. It functions as a printer, but the output is a PDF file. Never use it with eps (encapsulated PostScript) files! To embed fonts with PDFWriter, click successively: Printer Setup, Acrobat PDFWriter, Properties, Fonts..., Embed all fonts. Note: any subsets must be unchecked.
  • Acrobat PDFMaker is included in Windows Word 97 and later. Here are some useful tips for PDFMaker.
  • Online at Adobe. With a free trial, files in several formats can be converted to PDF.
  • The free Ghostscript can view Postscript files and save them into PDF files. Some fonts do not display well on the screen with Acrobat Reader, but they will print fine.
  • ps2pdf is a free Linux/Unix package that generates PDF files from PostScript files. It tends, however, to generate larger files than other programs.
  • www.ps2pdf.com is a free online tool that converts PostScript files to PDF files.
  • pdflatex is another free Linux/Unix package that generates PDF files from LaTeX files. This does not always work properly, it is best to have one of the latest versions.
  • PDFTeX is another free product like pdflatex, but for native TeX files. Both are part of the teTeX distribution.
  • dvipdfm is a free DVI to PDF translator for Linux.
  • Instant PDF is another commercial product, for Mac and Windows.
  • Cute PDF Writer is free and requires a PS2PDF converter such as Ghostscript.

Ways to create PostScript files

These files are sometimes necessary for some PDF converters.
  • dvips is a free package that takes DVI (device independent) files created by packages like TeX and LaTeX or based on them (as Scientific Word) and turns them into PostScript files.
  • In many environments, a simple way to create a PostScript file, is to select any PostScript printer, then print to a file. Be sure to have a .ps extension to this file, Windows, for example, assumes a .prn extension.

Platform or word processor specific recommendations

  • TeX, LaTeX, Scientific Word, etc.: The default fonts used by LaTeX, Computer Modern, do not display well on a screen. Using other fonts like Times is much more efficient. To do this, put \usepackage{times} before \begin{document} in LaTeX.
    The times package does not work with a default installation of SW 2.5, but it is included as part of SW 3.0. The \usepackage{times} statement could be directly added to the document using an ASCII editor. Using the SW interface, select Typeset, Options and Packages, the Package Options tab, select Add and then select times from the list of available packages. If the typesetting style does not present a list of packages, then any package can be added using the Go Native button.
  • Scientific Word, etc. and PDFWriter: Even when PDFWriter is configured to embed all fonts, some fonts are not embeded... The workaround is to generate a PostScript file and then to convert it to PDF. The fonts will then display well, and the PDF file will be only a fraction in size.
  • Scientific Word, etc.: How to create .pdf files with Adobe Acrobat Distiller. How to create pdf files. If you are a Scientific Word user, please do read these documents, otherwise users who do not have your software will not be able to read properly your pdf files. Arthur Lewbel also details nicely all the necessary steps to make your documents readable.
  • Scientific Word, etc.: Check in your pdf file whether your fonts have been embeded: in the Acrobat reader, do 'properties-> fonts' and see if any font substitution is taking place. If Acrobat says that one of the CM fonts is being subbed into Adobe Sans MM, for instance, it is almost surely going to be worthless; some of the math will be munged.
  • MathType with Word or WordPerfect: The equation editor MathType uses peculiar fonts that absolutely need to be embeded.
Your comments on this page are welcomed, especially about problems and solutions with various packages.
The following people have contributed to this document: Kit Baum, Dirk Edelbüttel, Bill Goffe, John Kane, Sune Karlsson, Markus Klink, Robert Parks, Alfred Reckendress, Christian Zimmermann.