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Converting to PDF


There are three ways to create a PDF file from a LaTeX document:
  1. Run latex on the document as usual. When creating the .ps file, use dvips like this to make sure that the necessary fonts are included:
    dvips -Ppdf -G0 filename.dvi -o

    Then you can create a PDF file from the resulting PostScript file. If you have the "distill" program installed on your system, you can run it like this
    distill filename.ps

    If you don't have distill, you can also use ps2pdf (which is probably installed in the same place as dvips):
    ps2pdf filename.ps

    Or, you can try downloading the PSTill program (for a $30 fee).

    Note: Distill and ps2pdf may assume that your document is in US 'Letter' format unless you explicity tell it otherwise. To get A4 output you can do this:

    distill -pagesize 21 29.7cm filename.ps
    ps2pdf -sPAPERSIZE=a4 filename.ps

  2. If you have PDFLaTeX installed on your system, you can use it instead to create the PDF file directly from the .tex file. Basically, instead of typing latex filename.tex
    you type pdflatex filename.tex

  3. You can also use dvipdfm, which converts directly from the dvi file to PDF (i.e., instead of running dvips, you run dvipdfm). dvipdfm can be downloaded from the dvipdfm home page.

Word, WordPerfect and RTF

To convert your Word RTF file to PDF first save it to file as a postscript document.

  1. In Word, select PRINT from the FILE menu
  2. Check the 'Print to file' checkbox
  3. Click OK
  4. Select 'All Files' from Save as
  5. Enter the name of your file with a .ps extension
  6. Click OK
Similar instructions should work in WordPerfect; check the online documentation for details.

Once you have saved your file as a postscript document you will need to convert it to PDF. Depending on what you have installed, you can use one of the following techniques:

  1. If you have Adobe Acrobat Distiller installed, you can use it to create the PDF files. It may be installed so that dragging documents into a certain folder causes them to be distilled automatically;
  2. Alternatively, if you have Ghostscript installed on your computer, you can use it to convert a PostScript file to PDF:
    • On a Windows machine:
      • Open the PostScript file in gsview32 (you will often be able to do this by double-clicking on the file).
      • Choose the Convert option from the File menu and choose the pdfwrite device from the "Device" list.
      • Click OK to convert the file to PDF.
    • On a Macintosh:
      • Open the file in Ghostview using the Open option from the File menu.
      • Choose ps2pdf from the Ghostscript menu to convert the file to PDF.
    If you do not have Ghostscript, you can download it from its homepage. Specifically, you should get the following files:

  3. You can also try the shareware PStill program, which costs about $25 (US) to register.

  4. If you have access to a Unix machine, you can use the distill or ps2pdf as described above under LaTeX. Any of these methods should also work for WordPerfect, but be aware that some fonts may not be supported in PDF.

    If you are having trouble producing a PDF file, please check the Troubleshooting page for suggestions.

    **Please check your work carefully before submitting it to make sure all your data is intact.**

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