Posted by: wbailer | July 27, 2007

PostScript Fonts in PDFs distilled from DVIPS output

In order to create nice PDFs from PS files, Type-1 fonts should be used and Type-3
fonts avoided. The typical way to do this is to invoke dvips with a printer configuration
file that ensures using Type-1 fonts:

dvips -P cmz

This will use the font mappings in the config.cmz configuration file. However, that
will not work in some cases due to missing font mapping.

To find out if the problem exists, search the created PS file for DVIPSBitmapFont.
If this is found, Type-3 files are embedded.
The problem can be solved as follows:

  1.  Determine the name of the font(s). You find that in the PS file after
  2. DVIPSBitmapFont, e.g.
    %DVIPSBitmapFont: Fd cmex9 9 1

  3. Open the configuration file, e.g. config.cmz
    It will point to one or more font maps, e.g. psfonts.cmz
  4. Open the font map file.
  5. Locate the corresponding Type-1 file you want to use on your system
    (*.pfb), or try to download it if you do not find it locally.
  6. For each missing font, add a line to your font map file:
    dviName type1Name <pfbFile, where dviName
    is the name of the font as references in the DVI file (i.e. the name you found in
    your PS), type1Name is the name of the Type-1 font you want
    to use and pfbFile is the name of the Type-1 font file.
    Example: cmr9 CMR9 <cmr9.pfb
  7. Running dvips the next time will use the correct font.

If you want to embed fonts in your PDF, that’s not all (the following information is
for Adobe Distiller, other PS to PDF tools will handle font embedding differently):

  1.  In the Distiller preferences menu, go to Fonts folders and add the
    directory where you’ve found the .pfb file of your Type-1 font.
  2. In the Distiller settings profile you are using, go to Fonts. You can
    browse the font sources (now also the directory you’ve just added) and can
    select the font to be always embedded.
  3. Note that the font name displayed there must be identical to the
    Type-1 name you specified in step 5 above. If it is not, change your font map
    file to make it match.
  4. That’s all 😉


  1. […] in PDF Files I’ve written about the trouble of font embedding in PDF Files before. It seems publishers get more and more picky about that, requesting you to create fully […]

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