A lot of This is Incomplete


Making PDFs

I first came across PDFs-Portable Document Format-when I was after some data from the Oak Ridge, I was unable to read their data sheets as neither our NT or Solaris system had an Acrobat reader installed.  Soon after that Acrobat readers and documants seemed common enough, almost a standard, there never seems to be a universal standard. I was using Postscript, somepeople used Microsofts .doc. For plain text, using plain text format would seem obvious. Anyway PDF is a reasnoble, the main gripe I have is you can't hack a pdf file, well not easily, it looks like a jpg file. To create them you don't need the expensive Adobe Distiller or as I read in a magazine some top end desktop publishing program, You convert your file-any type- to a Postscript file then using Ghostscript convert postscript to PDF.

Ghostscript is free from Aladin software or if your running Linux it's probably on your distribution, Ghost script is a PS file viewer, another thing missing from Windows.

In windows there isn't any obvious support for Postscript. A prn file saved by printing to file, an option on the print setup menu, will produce a script file. I install a print driver for a postscript printer from the widows install CD, usually the xerox postsript printer that's at the bottom of the list. So when you print to file with the postscript printer selected your .prn file is postscript. I can't remember if you have to change the extension to .ps. Anyway now you have a postscript file all you have to do is open it in ghostscript and convert to PDF, this is now a menu item but if your working from the command line it's something like:

$:> ps2pdf my_file.pdf

I haven't really tried to edit PDFs, except when I have to edit ones I created and still have the postscript(or word document) files for, so it's a case of making new ones. The pdf file looks like a picture[jpg] so I wouldn't have thought you could edit it as a document, easily.



  Cobbled together on the 11 May 2002

{last modified 18th june 2002}