Preparing PDF Files

This page provides guidelines and links for PDF preparation. The PDF must meet IEEE guidelines for inclusion in the digest. PDF files may be created using a variety of products, though GhostScript and Adobe Acrobat™ are recommended.

  • GhostScript
    GhostScript may be downloaded and installed on a variety of platforms. It requires that you install a postscript (PS) print driver (the Apple LaserWriter, HP Color LaserJet 4500-PS, and generic PostScript printers will typically do the job), and then print your document to a PS file. GhostScript then interprets the PS file for display or creation of a PDF file. YOu should refer to the manual for information on creating PDF files with GhostScript. Use only Ghostscript Version 6.5 or higher to allow the embedding of fonts in the PDF file.
    For Ghostscript use the following settings:
    1. Use Type 1 fonts - PDF files with Type 3 bitmap fonts will be returned
    2. Embed ALL fonts (Be careful with fonts embedded in graphics - a typical problem)
    3. Set the output resolution to at least 300dpi
    4. GhostScript will convert your PostScript file to PDF using ps2pdf. Use the following conversion settings:
      1. dMaxSubsetPct=100
      2. dCompatibilityLevel=1.2
      3. dSubsetFonts=true
      4. dEmbedAllFonts=true
  • MikTeX is a common LaTeX distribution used for PCs. A PDF can automatically be created with the texify command. This command uses the PDFLatex process which requires graphics to be in PDF format (be sure to leave the extension off of your graphics file name in the TeX file and let the process determine the PDF or EPS extension as needed). A common problem is failure to embed fonts in graphic files, causing the font problems in the final product. Check your graphics if font problems occur. An excellent editor that integrates the MiTeX command is WinEdt, a shareware program.
  • Adobe Acrobat™ (AA4 to 6):
    Acrobat™ is the product developed by Adobe for creating PDF (Portable Document Format) files. It is an outgrowth of the PostScript format also developed by Adobe. PDF files should be created using the Acrobat Distiller. This process is automated in Acrobat by printing to the Acrobat Distiller printer (AA4 and AA5) or the Adobe PDF printer (AA6). For this proces to work correctly, you will have to install the Acrobat product and be sure that AcroTray is running as a background application.
    The following steps should assist you in creating a PDF with Acrobat™:
    1. Download the Zipped IEEE settings file and install in the Distiller/Settings folder (instructions in the zip file)
    2. Print to the Acrobat Distiller printer (AA4 and AA5) or the Adobe PDF printer (AA6)
    3. Check your document in Acrobat - be sure there is no security active and that the fonts are embedded
    4. Recommendations for document preparation (from IEEE):
      1. Use 300dpi for color and grayscale images and 600dpi for monochrome images
      2. Insert rather than cut-and-paste images
      3. Do not link to graphics
      4. Embed and Subset ALL fonts (except not in a graphics file): Type 1 or TrueType (some fonts are not licensed for embedding and a different font will have to be used)
  • Products that should not be used - based on NSF recommendations
    • * Canvas/Deneba PDF filter
    • * Dvipdf(m)
    • * FrameMaker
    • * GhostScript versions prior to 6.5
    • * Hewlett-Packard Intelligent Scanners
    • * PDFWriter
    • * PhotoShop
    • * PStill
    • * Scanners (the PDF should not be a scanned paper)
General Guidelines for the PDF:
  • Use a Single Column , no double columns
  • Turn off Adobe Acrobat Encryption or Security Settings (NO Passwords)
  • Always Use Type 1 or TrueType Fonts (IEEE does NOT accept the Adobe Type 14 fonts)
  • Embed All Fonts
  • Subset fonts at 100%
  • Scanned PDF files are NOT acceptable
  • Do not use PDF Writer that came with earlier versions of Acrobat (AA5 and earlier)
  • Create Thumbnails (an option in the PDF creation tool)
  • Do Not include links or bookmarks (for those using Acrobat, do not use PDFMaker to create your PDF in Office products, but simply print to the Acrobat Distiller or Adobe PDF printers)
  • The PDF must be version 1.4 or earlier. If Acrobat 6 is used to create the PDF, be sure the compatibility has been selected in the printer and do not save once opened in Acrobat 6.
  • A resolution of 600dpi should be used. For graphics this means
    • 600 dpi for black & white
    • 300 dpi for grayscale
    • 300 dpi for color
  • Always Check Your Results