I've just converted an old paper with ps2pdf but while the result is legible, searching still does not work. It seems there are some invisible characters splitting the words.

Any advice on how to do the conversion differently?

  • German document? You might need \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}. But that's a guess, we need to see some code.
    – campa
    Jan 26, 2021 at 11:47
  • No, an english one. The .ps from here eprint.iacr.org/2003/069
    – Sarien
    Jan 26, 2021 at 22:59

1 Answer 1


That PS file still uses the original (Metafont) bitmap fonts, and after conversion to PDF with ps2pdf you'll see something like this:

enter image description here

Such PDF files are not searchable (see e.g. Are Knuth's fonts searchable in pdf yet?).

Since the source isn't available you can use the pkfix perl script (CTAN link) by Heiko Oberdiek (distributed with TeXLive; I don't know about MikTeX): it tries to replace the Type 3 fonts by the corresponding Type 1. Luckily it works on your file, so the combination

> pkfix 2003-069.ps 2003-069-fixed.ps
> ps2pdf 2003-069-fixed.ps

results in a file 2003-069-fixed.pdf with Type 1 fonts

enter image description here

which is searchable.

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