I have a LaTeX document that uses the \usepackage{lmodern} font. It will be printed on a (low resolution) 300 DPI printer that only takes raster images as input (an old Riso printer).

After compiling the file I convert it to a raster image @300DPI. This looks quite good.

I was wondering though if there's some way to rasterize the font using some hinting tables or so that are set up for printing at 300 DPI resolution. It's important that the different lines of different thickness are as balanced as possible et cetera. Basically I just want the low resolution PDF generated to look as close as possible to the font, I don't want serifs to be to short and so on, as can happen if I just rasterize the PDF and scale it to size in bitmap format.

I found the command \pdfpkresolution, but I'm not sure how it works.

How can I get the most suitable type output for printing at 300 DPI?

  • No, it's just text, and it's the rasterizing of the text that the question is really about. Sep 8, 2015 at 16:53

1 Answer 1


If I understand you right you can try the following MWE:

\documentclass{article}% article scrartcl

\usepackage{blindtext}% to build dummy text or document

 \pdfpkresolution=300    % dpi       % see pdftex manual
%\pdfimageresolution=300 % dpi       % see pdftex manual

\Blinddocument           % dummy document

In the PdfTeX manual (try texdoc pdftex-a on your console) under 7.3 Fonts you will find:

\pdfpkresolution (integer)

This integer parameter specifies the default resolution of embedded PK fonts and is read when pdfTEX embeds a PK font during finishing the pdf output. As bitmap fonts are still rendered poorly by some pdf viewers, it is best to use Type 1 fonts when available.

As you can see you can add an integer number for the dpi you want, only the number, no unit.

  • Thanks for your answer, but still, having read about \pdfpkresolution, I don't really get what the command does. It seems like I also have to specify that the pdf should be output with bitmap (PK?) fonts? Sep 25, 2015 at 17:02
  • When I change the \pdfpkresolution of the MWE you provided I can't see a change on the screen, even if zooming in. Is the bitmap fonts just used for printing? Sep 25, 2015 at 17:10
  • What does the -a do in texdoc pdftex-a? Sep 25, 2015 at 17:23
  • 1
    You gave no MWE so I can only guess. Do you have adobe preflight? With that tool you can check and change different parameters of the pdf file. It would be interesting which values you have now. If you use T1 fonts I think you do not need \pdfpkresolution. Have you tried texdoc pdftex? It gaves you the syntax of pdftex back. texdoc pdftex-a gives the manual ...
    – Mensch
    Sep 25, 2015 at 17:31

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