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Re: ?-Can complete notebooks be converted to Postscript?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg17066] Re: ?-Can complete notebooks be converted to Postscript?
  • From: "P.J. Hinton" <paulh>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Apr 1999 02:32:07 -0400
  • Organization: "Wolfram Research, Inc."
  • References: <7fh1k0$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

On 20 Apr 1999, Silver Jones wrote:

> I have seen a few notebooks that were converted to Adobe Acrobat PDF
> files.  I would like to be able to do this, but Iam not sure how this was
> accomplished.  I hope there is a way to accomplish this without converting
> to Tex first.  Is the only way to accomplish this is to do the following:
> complete notebook->Tex->Postscript->Distiller->PDF
> If someone knows how to convert a complete notebook to Postscript(.ps)
> this can then be run through Adobe Acrobat Distiller to get a PDF file. 
> Is the following procedure possible?
> complete notebook->Postscript->Distiller->PDF
> Is software other than Wolfram available or needed to accomplish this?  If
> so, is it available for the Mac Platform?  I wish this was possible in
> Publicon, but it does not seem to be part of the program - why?
> Is this so painful that it is best just to leave the document as a
> notebook and make MathReader available to all who are interested?
> Any advice or help along thes lines would be appreciated.

MathReader is probably the better choice if you have active elements that
require only the front end to execute (e.g. hyperlinks).  If you convert
them to PostScript and then to PDF, then the documents lose this
functionality.  Moreover, if you have animations or sounds, your users
will be able to play and view these elements.

If you are using the X Window front end on a Unix system, then all you
need to do is to _print the notebook to a file_ rather than having it sent
to a printer.  Since there is no driver interface for printers under Unix,
the front end does nothing but pipe PostScript to the printer.

A similar procedure exists for Macintosh and Windows.  You print the
notebook to a file, but the driver that you use must be for a PostScript
printer.  See the following FAQ page

with the subsection titled "Convert anything to PS".

You may have heard of printer drivers that are capable of creating PDF
files directly from a printing operation (e.g. PDFWriter that comes with
Adobe Acrobat).  These drivers are somewhat limited in their capacity, and
they do not handle the conversion of Graphics cells properly.  You should
avoid using them with Mathematica notebooks.

P.J. Hinton
Mathematica Programming Group           paulh at
Wolfram Research, Inc.        
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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