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TeXtrace is a collection of scripts for UNIX that convert any TeX font into a Type1 .pfb outline font immediately suitable for use with dvips, pdftex, acroread (and any many other programs). The main advantage of using Type1 fonts with TeX is that acroread renders TeX's bitmap fonts ugly on screen, but it renders outline fonts beutifully and fast.

Note that gs (Aladdin Ghostscript) <=5.50 renders both pixel and vector fonts ugly on screen; and gv (new version of Ghostview) 3.5.8 renders both pixel and vector fonts acceptably on screen if State/Antialias is turned on; and both pixel and vector fonts look nice when printed. So you won't notice significant difference unless you use acroread (Acrobat Reader) to view the .pdf file or you use extremely small resolution (<=150 DPI) with pdftex and you zoom extremely (10.0) in gv.

See examples/differ.tex and examples/vdiffer.pdf in Acrobat Reader for the difference.

For more information about TeXtrace, see the main documentation: doc/textrace.txt (for version 0.49). If you are new to TeXtrace, please read this before reading anything else.

You can contact the TeXtrace mailing list by e-mail: Textrace-main@lists.sourceforge.net.

You may contact the author of TeXtrace by e-mail: pts@fazekas.hu. Please send TeXtrace-related questions to the mailing list (mentioned above) instead of directly to the author.

You can download the latest version of TeXtrace here.

TeXtrace updates are announced on Freshmeat.

TeXtrace releases (not just the latest) can be downloaded from Sourceforge.

Abstract for EuroTeX 2001

Final version of my article, PDF
Presentation slides for EuroTeX 2001, PDF
EuroTeX 2001 home page

Conversion of TeX fonts into Type1 format
by Szabó Péter <pts@fazekas.hu>

The most common problems with PDF files produced by TeX (either by pdfTeX or normal TeX -> dvips -> ps-to-pdf-converter) is that Acrobat Reader renders most fonts slowly and unreadably ugly on screen. This is because most TeX fonts can be included into PDF files only as high resolution raster (bitmap) images, and Acrobat Reader shows such images slowly and inaccurately. This has been one of the famous Ugly Bits of TeX for years.

The solution to the problem is to include TeX fonts as vector outlines. Unfortunately most TeX fonts are available only in METAFONT format, and currently no good converter to vector outline font formats supported in PDF (such as Type1 or TrueType) exists.

TeXtrace is a free (GPL-ed) program I've written recently to convert any TeX font into a Type1 .pfb outline font file immediately usable by pdfTeX etc. TeXtrace renders the font in high resolution, and calls the program AutoTrace to convert each bitmap to vector outline. I've managed to convert more than 500 fonts into Type1 format, including all the long-awaited EC fonts.

In my demonstration I'll analyze the METAFONT-to-vector-outline conversion problem and font format compatibility issues in great detail, describe how TeXtrace works, and compare it to other existing solutions respecting font quality, font size, amount of human effort needed etc.


cm-super supersedes Tt2001, the author of TeXtrace recommends the wonderful cm-super package instead of his own Tt2001.

The CM-Super package contains Type 1 fonts converted from METAFONT fonts and covers entire EC/TC, ECC and LH fonts (Computer Modern font families). All European and Cyrillic writings are covered. Each Type 1 font program contains ALL glyphs from the following standard LaTeX font encodings: T1, TS1, T2A, T2B, T2C, X2, and also Adobe StandardEncoding (585 glyphs per non-SC font and 468 glyphs per SC font), and could be reencoded to any of these encodings using standard dvips or pdftex facilities (the corresponding support files are also included).

The CM-Super font package, version 0.3.2 (November 29, 2001) is Copyright (c) 2001 Vladimir Volovich .


Note: (as of Mon Mar 11 14:39:19 MET 2002), Tt2001 is obsolete. It is incomplete and unsopported (i.e it is provided as-is and it very problably won't change in 2--3 years). The author of TeXtrace recommends the wonderful cm-super package instead of his own Tt2001.

`Tt2001' is a TeX .pfb font collection, converted to .pfb in 2001 by the author of TeXtrace, using TeXtrace. It contains all the EC (European Computer Modern) and TC (Text Companion) fonts in all possible design sizes, all the AMS fonts in all possible design sizes, plus some more.

`Tt2001' is currently in beta status. The .pfb files are fairly OK in content, by they are not maintained. Your bug reports are welcomed, however.

The beta version of Tt2001


This program doesn't exist anymore. Its successor is mftrace.


mftrace -- Scalable PostScript Fonts for TeX: mftrace is a small Python program that lets you trace a PK font into a PFA or PFB font (PostScript Type1). It is licensed under the GNU GPL. The pktrace package is inspired by textrace, and contained code by Peter Szabo pts@fazekas.hu.

mftrace and TeXtrace are separate products. They both have advantages over each other. Please have a look at both of them before starting your font conversion task.

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