This is either a question or an encouragement, depending on the situation. If a pdf typeset with latex and made into a pdf with ps2pdf contains the word "final", searching for that word in the pdf with Acrobat Reader yields no hit.

The reason is that the pdf file is typeset with a "fi" ligature, and the search algorithm does not know that "final" should also search for the "fi" ligature. On the other hand, if the same ps file is distilled with Acrobat Distiller, the search works. Distiller somehow is more capable.

Can this be achieved with ps2pdf already now (it was not possible a few years ago)? Or will it be possible at least one day in the future?

I use the newest 2014 texlive distribution, OSX, the MinionPro font and package with T1 fontenc and utf8 inputenc, the Myriad font, 50 other packages, and work along the dvi -> ps -> pdf route. This is the minimal example:

Almost final.

By the way, this MinionPro problem is indeed solved with glyphtounicode.tex for MinionPro if the dvips/ps2pdf route is avoided, and the pdf is produced directly. The problem only appears if intermediate postscript is produced. Therefore another way out, in principle, would be to find successor packages for pstricks and psfrag, which also allow to use my hundreds of eps images, and that work with pdflatex. However, the package experts explained that this is not possible yet.

  • If I compile \documentclass{article}\begin{document}final\end{document} with latex-dvips-ps2pdf, the search for final in Adobe Reader is successful.
    – egreg
    Jan 22, 2015 at 17:16
  • I added a minimal example that shows the problem. It seems font-dependent.
    – user64520
    Jan 22, 2015 at 17:22
  • 1
    glyphtounicode.tex is distributed with pdftex as part of the TeXLive distribution. In a standard installation on Linux it is at /usr/local/texlive/2014/texmf-dist/tex/generic/pdftex/glyphtounicode.tex. Jan 22, 2015 at 18:01
  • 2
    Why do you need the dvi -> ps -> pdf route? Can you not use pdfLaTeX or XeLaTeX instead? Jan 22, 2015 at 20:03
  • 1
    I don't know, but I think I've read that auto-pst-pdf is a package which lets you use pstricks and so in pdfLaTeX. Doesn't it work in this case?
    – Manuel
    Jan 26, 2015 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


In the meantime, the maintainers of ps2pdf/ghostscript have explained in detail at bugs.ghostscript.com/show_bug.cgi?id=695806 (where the question was also posted) that ps2pdf could in principle be expanded to allow such a search, but that the solution would take a large amount of work and produce only little benefit to the end user. Therefore the ps2pdf team will not implement it.

Therefore, the answer to this question is: Not in the foreseeable future.

You must log in to answer this question.