Consider the following MWE:



When I compile this code snippet using latex-dvips-ps2pdf and using pdflatex directly, I get (slightly) different results.

Result of latex-dvips-ps2pdf chain


Result of pdflatex

enter image description here

The PDF generated with the latex chain has font CM10 Type 1C, while the file generated using pdflatex has CM10 Type 1 acording to evince.

Indeed, the font looks slightly "bolder" with CM10 Type 1C and seems to be easier to read on a screen. Furthermore, some people confirmed that this printed out document looks "nicer" than that generated with pdflatex (no microtype, etc. used).

How can I achieve the same "look" as with the latex-dvips-ps2pdf chain, when using pdflatex?

P.S.: This equally well extends to lmodern and probably other packages.

  • What distribution are you using? Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 14:08
  • TeX Live 2015 (pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015))
    – MrD
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 14:12
  • I don't think that you can force pdftex to store the fonts in type1C. And I don't see any difference in the output in the adobe reader and with sumatra - only the file sizes of the pdf are different. Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 15:00
  • I don't have those two programs installed, but I can confirm that the difference is also there with okular. On top, the printed out versions are different, where I uploaded the two PDF directly on the web-interface of my Dell printer.
    – MrD
    Commented Oct 12, 2015 at 15:05
  • The reason for the different appearance is answered here. The difference in printer output is surprising, but perhaps even the printer treats the font formats differently and isn't sufficiently high-resolution for the differences to go away. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


Even if this cannot be done directly using pdflatex, the desired effect (as well a significant reduction in file size) can be achieved by post-processing the pdflatex file using

ps2pdf -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dAutoRotatePages=/None -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dSubsetFonts=true old.pdf new.pdf
  • But ps2pdf is not a good solution since it may corrupt the text part (in particular for PDF files obtained with pdflatex), and the Ghostscript developers do not care very much about that; see Ghostscript bug 704478. And nowadays, you also need -dPrinted=false to keep hyperlinks (but you will lose print-only annotations, if any). In short, ps2pdf is an ugly way to solve a particular issue.
    – vinc17
    Commented Oct 2, 2021 at 23:47

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