Physics

Preparing Material for the Web

When publishing documents to the web, be aware that users may not have access to software to view some file formats. In particular, few undergraduates have access to software to view postscript files. It is often advisable to convert documents other than html, gif and jpeg to pdf before putting them on the web.

There are several ways of producing PDF files, and various techniques which are known to work are listed below.

Advice on converting PowerPoint files for the web can be found on its own page.

TeX

To produce a PDF file in TeX there are several methods available. However, if you have your notes in postscript form, and they have .EPS files embedded in them, then the most reliable method is as follows.

Recreate the PS file using the following dvips command line:

dvips -Ppdf mydoc.dvi

be careful not to inset a space between the -P and the pdf. This will generate a PS file in the normal way, but the fonts used by dvips will be optimised for screen presentation when the PS file is converted to PDF. Indeed it is probably a good idea to make this your default method for creating PS files by editing the options section of your favourite TeX shell program.

Once you have the new postscript file, follow the instructions below to convert it to PDF format.

Directly From a Windows Application

Any windows system with the full version of Adobe Acrobat can write PDF file by printing to a device called `PDF Writer`. Unlike the reader which is free, the full version of Acrobat requires a licence for each computer. For occasional use we recommend the use of the terminal servers which have the software licensed and installed. For an example of connecting to the terminal servers and converting a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF document, please see here.

From a Postscript File

Postscript files can be converted into Adobe PDF with a number of utilities including Adobe Distiller (available on the terminal servers) or recent versions of Ghostview (V3.3 and later). In Ghostview, load your existing postscript document and then look for the `Convert` command in the `File` menu or choose the Ghostview print device called `pdfwrite`. Any windows application can be made to produce a postscript file by printing to a Postscript printer and selecting the `Print to file` option in the print dialogue box.