# [texhax] pdflatex vs. dvipdfm

Michael Barr barr at barrs.org
Fri Jan 16 13:22:43 CET 2004

Using a virgin (newly installed) copy of texlive8 installed on a Win2000
machine, I ran the following file
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
This is a test.
\end{document}
through pdflatex and latex/dvipdfm.  The latter produced a pdf file that
was grossly superior to the former.  Dvipdfm produced sharp letters and
looked just like the dvi file (on screen, anyway), while pdflatex produced
output that was all fuzzy and really did not look good at all.  Is there
something that can be done to spruce up pdflatex?  The reason I need this
is that I am reprinting a book that exists as a scanned pdf file, but with
a new foreword written by the author, the whole compiled by pdflatex.  The
scanned book, although not perfect, looks better than the foreword.  I
suppose I could compile the foreword into a pdf file using dvipdfm and
then use pdfpages to bind them together, but there are reasons I would
like to avoid that.

Incidentally, dvipdfm complains that it couldn't open fonts.map.  It
didn't seem to have any effect on the output.  What is that all about?

Michael Barr