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On the (annoying) occasion that I have to download a paper in PS format, whenever I convert it to PDF (say some PS2PDF website utility), the resulting output is quite hard to read on the screen (the text is faded and very faint).

What is the reason for this, and is there a "better" PS2PDF conversion tool?

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closed as off topic by egreg, Werner, qubyte, Thorsten, Daniel Mar 14 '12 at 8:05

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As it stands, this question is off-topic for this site since it deals with the post-production of a document that might not even be produced using (La)TeX. – Werner Mar 13 '12 at 23:02
If it matters at all, nearly all the papers I download in PS were generated from LaTeX. Bad image quality makes it difficult to read equations, say. – user12592 Mar 13 '12 at 23:17
So you're saying the PS output LaTeX-generated document have poor rendering? Are they vector-based or rasterized within the PS? What about after your conversion to PDF? Note that if you use "some PS2PDF website utility", their settings may be so that you're not obtaining optimal results. Consider performing your own conversion via say epstopdf. – Werner Mar 13 '12 at 23:24
I produce papers via postscript all the time. I've seen problem papers like you mention, but out-of-the-box TeX Live and MiKTeX with virtually all TeX specific editors come configured manage the conversion nicely. You really need to be more specific about the tools you are using. In any case, this is probably off topic since it involves no LaTeX directly. – qubyte Mar 14 '12 at 2:19

A standard ps2pdf conversion tool is the part of Ghostscript suit for PostScript. It is only free for non commercial use. The alternative tools definitely exist. For example ImageMagic and its cousin GraphicMagic can do the conversion. The output is usually much lower quality PDF than Ghostscript (in my experience). I am guessing that some of the web-sites mentioned in your question just use a simple PHP script to pass your input through some of the "free" tools. Why do you use Web utility when the Ghostscript is freely available for most commonly used computer architectures and operating systems? If you are still getting poor quality with the Ghostscript locally installed you could try also to normalize PostSript file before converting to PDF with ps2ps utility also from Ghostscript. Some things when it comes to PostScript are just better done with other tools. For example I use ps2eps to convert PostScript into encapsulated PostScript.

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