I actually asked this question to superuser.com before, and received some answers. However, I thought my question is specific to LaTeX-generated PDF files, so tex.SE people perhaps know better for such PDFs and font problems, etc.

When I read LaTeX-generated PDF files with Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro, the display quality is superb. However, for the same PDF files, other PDF readers like Foxit Reader, Sumatra PDF Reader, etc show poor quality: quite timid and fuzzy display. At least in Windows. In Linux systems, any reader is not satisfactory even the Adobe Reader.

Why? Is it because the PDF format is created by Adobe? Is there any LaTeX-font problem for other readers?

Here are some sample screenshots. All viewers are set to zoom to page width.

(1) Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF

(2) PDF X-Change

PDF X-Change

(3) Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader

(4) BlueBeam


(5) Adobe Reader


To me, Adobe Reader clearly is the best. Especially look at the italic capital T.

Here is the sample PDF file.

closed as off topic by lockstep, Joseph Wright Oct 24 '11 at 15:29

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  • 4
    What makes you think this is specific to LaTeX generated files? Can you see any difference between LaTeX generated files and other files? The answers you got on superuser.com look like they are on the right track. Adobe reader does much better job at subpixel rendering of fonts than the other readers. It even lets you select whether you want your fonts to be optimized for a CRT monitor or an LCD screen. I don't know about Windows, but at least on Linux, no other viewer will let you do that. – Jan Hlavacek Oct 23 '11 at 14:53
  • 4
    @JanHlavacek I have once compared the quality of some 'designed' documents, for which all readers were good. That's why I thought the above issue might be LaTeX-specific. In the designed documents, I thought the characters were fonts, but I guess now they were vector-images. Yes, this problem is not a LaTeX-related problem, but a font-related problem. I observed the same quality issue in MS Word-generated PDF files as well. – Chang Oct 23 '11 at 16:16

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