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Problem printing tex-generated pdf with bitmapped fonts

    Yesterday, I upgraded some components of my testing system, such as
xpdf, some libraries dealing with fonts (probably not used by tex,
though), but not any texlive package. This upgrade did not go very well
because X crashed while the packages were being installed. I could go to
a console and kill X, and everything started working again. When I ran
aptitude again, it asked me to run dpkg --configure -a (which I did) and
which finished installing the packages, apparently with success. But at
least one thing went wrong, when I tried booting the system this morning
my initrd image was gone (and that was not fun). Having regenerated it,
the system booted and everything works, apparently. Well, almost everything.

    I now have problems printing some pdf's generated by pdflatex.
Apparently, the problem is with bitmapped fonts. Note that this is
unlike the classical problem of fonts in pdf documents: the document
displays correctly and beautifully in the screen, but when printed I get
some blocks instead of the letters.

    Here is a very simple document:



This is a simple test.

\[ f(x): R \to R: f(x) = x^2 \]


    Here is the ps file generated from that document using xpdf:
http://www.cpgei.cefetpr.br/~ekalin/output_xpdf.ps . The output when
printed is exactly like that. And since even the generated .ps file is
already bad, it cannot be a problem with the printer.

    It is not an specific problem with xpdf, however: Adobe Acrobat
Reader 7.0 displays the file perfectly, but when asked to convert the
file to postscript outputs this:
http://www.cpgei.cefetpr.br/~ekalin/output_acroread.ps . While readable,
there are clearly some defects in the fonts.

    Note that the math part displays perfectly. Also, if the
\usepackage{ae} line is uncommented, which causes proper fonts (Type 1,
I believe) to be used, then the document looks fine when converted to
postscript and printed. The problem is that in real-life documents I
need a couple of symbols from fonts for which there is only the
bitmapped version, and these symbols are looking bad in the document.

    Under Windows, the same pdf with bitmapped fonts that does not print
well under linux gets printed correctly and beautifully, so it does not
appear to be a problem with tex itself. I have erased the
/var/cache/fonts and ~/.texmf-var/fonts directories  so that the fonts
are regenerated, but that did not change anything.

    I don't even know what package is the responsible for the problem,
so I don't even know whose package's versions I should list. But fell
free to ask for more relevant information.

For external use only.


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