I've got some PNG images within my LaTeX document. The quality of the image files is sufficient and the result using LaTeX and viewing the resulting DVI file is quite what I expect - looks good.

But I would need such quality of the images in my PDF files as well. But unfortunately when using PDFLaTeX the images are surprisingly worse quality in the resulting PDF file.

How can the quality for the resulting PDF file be improved?

I think there's happening some kind of rasterization which makes the images showing up in bad quality.

(I tried using dvi2pdf or ps2pdf but the quality of the final PDF was the same. Additionally I would like to have a PDF ToC and the hyperref-pdf features when using PDFLaTeX)

Searching the web I found the following but I'm not quite sure if this helps and were to set the mentioned parameters on my *buntu

  • 1
    What format are your image files in? Dec 17, 2011 at 4:47
  • @Jan Hlavacek: They're png image files.
    – Meinzlein
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:17
  • 3
    @Meinzlein: pdflatex includes PNG images without altering them, so the quality remains unchanged. Most likely, this is a problem with your PDF viewer, see e.g. tex.stackexchange.com/a/10978/2552. What viewer are you using? Have you tried printing the document (the quality should be better in a printout)?
    – Jake
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:31
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    @Meinzlein: Those parameters don't apply here, that article is concerned with converting from other formats to PNG. You're already using PNG, no conversion (or rasterisation) is taking place. The image is included in your document in the full, unchanged quality, so there's not much you can (or need to) do. What viewer are you using?
    – Jake
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:42
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    @Meinzlein: Ah, Okular is not smoothing the image (it doesn't on my system, either), and this is one of the cases where smoothing would actually be better. Since Evince smoothes all images, in this case it looks better. In the case shown at tex.stackexchange.com/a/10978/2552, smoothing is undesirable, but generally it's a good idea. I wouldn't worry about this in this case: You know that the pictures are included in perfect quality, and most people would be viewing the file in Acrobat or Evince (both smooth) anyway. By the way, typo in the second last line ("bilogische").
    – Jake
    Dec 17, 2011 at 10:13

1 Answer 1


I'd recommend using vector-based graphics for your images. The best format to save images in is .pdf

With programs like Inkscape, you can draw as you would in MS Paint (and do much more), and because the images are vector-based instead of pixel-based, their quality should be preserved when converting to PDF in any way.

You can also try using the TikZ to program figures directly into your LaTeX file; although it takes longer, the output will never vary during compilations and conversions.

  • 2
    I've got png images and I don't want to draw them by hand. I know about Inkscape and use it if i need a new image, but for this document I've got already png images. I wonder why in the pdf they're such bad quality and in kile editor's preview with the dvi they're just fine.
    – Meinzlein
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:14
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    As commented above by Jake, pdf, jpg and png images are simply embedded in the output pdf file, pdfTeX does not alter them.
    – eudoxos
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:34
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    Just wonder why Okular displays the dvi just nive even with 200% zoom, but the pdf in Okular doesn't look nice with respect to the png images. Is there another way than PDFLaTex to get a full functional pdf with toc etc?
    – Meinzlein
    Dec 17, 2011 at 9:39

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