PDF Creation

In the belief that the subject of the February 2006 meeting was of interest to more than just a few, there follows the opportunity to look again at what was presented and more beyond..

Why PDF format?

Supposedly the industry standard for document transfer.
In Windows it gives a presentation superior to that of normal Windows text.
It offers the opportunity to present a document which is not editable by anyone without the necessary password. This is important for organisations who do not want their words to be changed or corrupted.
It offers a format acceptable to many print shops, giving a reliable means to getting back from the printers what you thought you gave to them.

PDF Readers

FREE on Windows, giving a good presentation on screen: Acrobat Reader. If you Google for it, do beware that there are some sites where you are offered a supposedly free download, but you find on the second page that you have to pay for it! Go only to


FREE on RISC OS, giving not so good a presentation; in fact, sometimes lousy. The latest version of !PDF ( 26/32-bit 28 Jun 2005) is much improved on earlier versions. Available from


GView gives a faithful presentation, but because it is a bit-image display, the normally excellent display of outline fonts is ruined!

Linux? Maybe some other body will provide information on this?

PDF Writers

On Windows

[The above prices are for downloaded software from the Adobe site. Non-downloaded prices are slightly less.]


For graphics based PDF work, ArtWorks 2.5          £169-00


For PostScript and PDF, RiScript 5          £39-00


For all types of work, GhostScript 7.03                  FREE.

See (further down): "How to get ... "

[Of the above, I can't yet get RiScript to do what I want!]



In the categories below (and probably elsewhere), the description "excellent" means near perfect appearance in Acrobat Reader on Windows.


Pure vector files and those containing bit-images (in ArtWorks) both give excellent PDF files, whether exported as PDF files or printed via GhostScript, as described later. The GhostScript versions of PDF files are smaller in the number of bytes. Whether the display in !PDF is good enough is dependent on the complexity of the ArtWorks graphic. For example, one version of the famous "Apple" ( APPLE4, 71 kB ) produces some odd effects in !PDF, both by Export from ArtWorks ( Apple4_exp/pdf, 260 kB ) and by printing through GhostScript and PrintPDF (Apple4_prnt/pdf, 141 kB ).

Simple Text

If your system is capable of printing from files displayed in a text editor (Edit, StrongED, Zap, etc.), the result from GhostScript plus PrintPDF can look superior to the appearance in the original text editor. It is not clear at this time (16th February 2006) whether this can work without !UniPrint being installed. In the examples provided, Text (801 bytes) printed to Text/pdf (2004 bytes) and viewed in !PDF is better in appearance than the original text in StrongED.


For example, from Ovation Pro, provided the document contains the correct type of Fonts, the result can be excellent, although in !PDF, again graphics can sometimes produce display problems. This was evident on my Iyonix in the case of one issue of the EAUG newsletter where the fonts had been changed to Type 1 available with standard Acorn/RISC OS machines: namely, Trinity (Times Roman), Homerton (Helvetica), Corpus (Courier).There may be others available.

The Ovation Pro file was Issue_Special (53 kB) and the printed conversion is Issue_Special/pdf (31 kB) . Viewed in !PDF, the EAUG logo (top right) was mangled. The same PDF file displayed perfectly in Acrobat Reader on Windows.

How to get GhostScript running

Go to ftp://ftp.acornusers.org/pub/utils/postscript, double-click on the already highlighted postscript directory and again on ghostscript which appears in the new window. You are then in the directory which contains the zip files you need. Download them to a suitable directory viewer, perhaps a new one called "GhostScript". Do this by simply double-clicking on each zip to open a standard Save window, from which the zip icon can be dragged to your selected directory. The ones you need are:

You need ALL five files.

When they are unzipped, they all appear to be the same. That is each looks like it's the application "!GhostScript". In fact, they are all skeletons and in order to create the whole application, you have to copy each one into the same directory viewer. The whole application was originally split up in the days of slow modem downloads, to minimise loss due to download failures and has remained divided up to the present time. The complete 26-bit !GhostScript now contains 9,270,463 bytes.

If you want to use it on an Iyonix (32-bit) you need also to download "gs703exe2/zip" from Martin Wuerthner's website at


This zip contains an Absolute type file called "gs" which should replace the same named file in the just created 26-bit version. Shift-double-click on !GhostScript and the directory viewer which opens will reveal "gs". This should be deleted and replaced by the "gs" found inside "gs703exe2.zip".

Now that you have one of the two varieties of GhostScript ready (26- or 32-bit), you need to get GhostScript recognised during boot up of your machine. Please note that you do NOT need to "run" GhostScript in order to use it. So, open "Configuration" by double-clicking on !Boot in the root directory, then click on "Boot" to open "Boot sequence", followed by clicking on "Look at". Then drag !GhostScript on to the "Boot at startup" window. Click "Set", and again on "Set" in the Boot sequence" window. Finally close "Configuration". If your system tells you that you need to re-boot for the changes to take effect, leave it until you complete the rest of the actions below.

Next you need "!PrintPDF" from


Unzip it and copy !PrintPDF into a suitable directory. I have put it in the "Printing" directory which is in the root of my primary (bootable) hard drive. You might find it more readily available if placed inside "$.Apps".

Inside !PrintPDF is a Help file (StrongHelp is used if available) which has a section on installing and setting up !Printers. If StrongHelp has not been seen on your machine, it should open as a simple text file. If nothing appears, shift-double-click on !PrintPDF and open "Resources.UK.HelpTX".

Installation consists of loading PrintPDF to the iconbar, followed by setting up "!Printers". The latter requires you first to load !Printers on the iconbar, then click menu on its iconbar icon and select "Printer Control". Next you need to find a PostScript Level 2 printer driver. This will be somewhere inside the "$.Printing.Printers" directory. On my Iyonix, it appears directly in that viewer as "PoScript2". This driver needs then to be added to the Printer control window. This is done either by dragging its icon to that window or simply double-clicking on that icon. This puts a new icon on the iconbar Printers display, called "PoScript2". Next, open the configuration window for this new driver. Do this either by Menu on the Printer control window or by Shift-Double-Clicking on the new iconbar icon. In the window titled "PostScript printer configuration", change the "Name" (in the writable icon at the top) to "PDF" so that it will be immediately recognisable on the iconbar. Tick the "Colour" box and click on OK. Next open the "Connections" window, again either from Menu on the Printer control window or by Adjust-Double-clicking on the iconbar icon which now has its name, "PDF", below it.

In the Connections window click on the "File" button near the bottom. Then click on the drop-down menu just to the right of the writable icon. This opens a "Save as" window, from which you drag the PostScript icon down to the iconbar and drop it on the "PrintPDF" icon. This action automatically enters the address to which the printfile is sent for processing by PrintPDF. Close the Connections window by clicking on Set. Then DO REMEMBER, first to select the Printer driver icon on the iconbar that you wish to be the default driver AND then to "Save Choices" from the Menu on Printers on the iconbar.

The viewers you may need for RISC OS are !PDF and !GView. These are available from





Using GhostScript

If you have set everything as described above, you are now ready to "create". This document was originally produced in Ovation Pro. Further down you will notice when you get there that there is a zip file (" opro-prn/zip ") which contains a PDF file version of this document, called "Doc-OPro/pdf", created by "printing" the Ovation Pro document using the "PDF" driver, just as if you were sending it directly to any other printer.

To do the same sort of thing, load any document you want to convert to PDF. Ensure that you have selected the PDF printer icon on the iconbar, open the Print dialogue window on the document to be converted and click on OK. After some processing time, a "Create PDF" window opens and you drag the icon in it to where you want to save the created PDF file. After some more processing, a window opens temporarily to let you know that the document conversion has been completed, during which time the icon representing the created file, has changed from a blank white, to a "data" icon, to a "PDF" icon. That's it! You are now ready to view the file in !PDF on RISC OS, or to transfer it to a Windows machine and view it on Acrobat Reader. But first, rename "PDFfile" to something sensible, remembering to end the name with "/pdf" in case you want to view it in a Windows machine!

If anything goes wrong with the creation, an error report will appear on screen. Below, in Figure 1, is shown one such error report which was triggered by the presence of at least one font which was not of Type 1 (PostScript compatible).

pic01.jpg, 128kB
Figure 1.     Error message from GhostScript/PrintPDF

The clues lie in lines 1 and 3. "LondonA" is not present as Type 1. The answer is either to change the font configured in the style to one of the RISC OS fonts which are Type 1 compatible, or to substitute others from the EFF PostScript range (if you have it!) The above error message appeared when attempting to create the PDF version of the original Newsletter file (Issue 10/06). In order to create "Issue_Special", all of the various fonts used in the normal printed Newsletter were therefore changed to Trinity or Homerton or Corpus.


Since the meeting on 14th February 2006, I have made some further progress in respect of handling fonts for PostScript printing. A quick perusal of the RISC OS 3 User Guide, Issue 1, February 1994 (yes! 12 years ago) revealed from the Index that page 352 would be worth visiting. This starts the section on "Downloading and Mapping" fonts (within Part 4: More applications, FontPrint). It makes the following points:

First, it is preferable to map the RISC OS fonts to corresponding PostScript fonts which are already resident "in the printers ROM". Does that assume that you are using a PostScript printer? Well, I think it is actually referring to either the physical printer or to the printer driver represented by "PDF" on the iconbar. It says that "The Printer Manager then instructs the printer to substitute fonts." At this stage it was not clear what you were supposed to do if you had a different OS version where the expected fonts were not in the ROM!

The second recommended way is to download the font into the printer. Exactly how this is accomplished was not clear at this point, but carry on reading.

Next, it refers to the fact that !FontPrint (present in the Printing directory in the root of the main hard drive) gives control of the printing process. It lets you specify which fonts are present in the printers ROM, how RISC OS fonts are to be mapped to the resident fonts, and which fonts you want to have permanently downloaded to the printer every time you load the Printer Manager (!Printers).

The standard set of RISC OS fonts appear to be already mapped to appropriate PostScript fonts. Additional RISC OS fonts can be mapped to the same or other PostScript fonts. It is warned however that there may be slight variations in the resulting appearance of the fonts when printed.

To do this mapping or downloading, first load !FontPrint. It creates an iconbar icon that looks like a big printer with an "F" label stuck on it. Clicking on this icon opens a window with "No PostScript printer selected" in its title bar. One click on the PostScript printer driver icon named PDF on the iconbar changes the title bar contents to "Printer: 'PDF' " and more than fills the formerly blank white window space with a list of fonts and the corresponding PostScript fonts to which they are already mapped! It also shows a text icon near the top which announces that the Printer type is "PostScript Level 2", which describes the loaded printer driver.

pic02.jpg, 100kB
Figure 2.     The basic FontPrint window

The contents of the above window are all variants of the ten RISC OS fonts which have resident PostScript versions available. Well, it is presumed that there were 11 in the machines which came with this guide in 1994. They are listed as: Clare, Robinson, Corpus, Homerton, NewHall, Pembroke, Sidney, Trinity, Churchill and Selwyn. They are shown in all their variations of weight and shape. Have a look in your own copy of !FontPrint to see more.

If you want to add another RISC OS font and map it to an existing PostScript font, first click menu on the FontPrint window, track down to "Add font", move right to open the list of fonts in !Fonts ("FontList"), then track down to add the one you want to process. In Figure 3 below, you will see I have chosen "LondonA (Bold-Italic)" and I clicked on it.

pic03.jpg, 110kB
Figure 3.     Adding the font "LondonA (Bold-Italic)"

Then, going back to menu on the FontPrint window, with "LondonA.Bold.Italic" still highlighted, sliding across from "Font" to "Map to", I selected "Palatino-BoldItalic". So, just for fun, I am changing the style of this particular paragraph to "LondonA.Bold.Italic". We shall see what happens! In Figure 4 below, you can see just how this mapping was done.

pic04.jpg, 102kB
Figure 4.     Mapping LondonA.Bold.Italic to Palatino-BoldItalic

Well, that did not work when it came to creating a PDF file by printing through GhostScript and PrintPDF. The error message generated referred to LondonA.SmallCaps_EBase. That font was not present at the time of printing, but it had been in the Ovation Pro document for a time and then replaced by LondonA.Bold.Italic. Clearly there is more work to be done.

One of the fonts I used in the original January issue of the newsletter was particularly distinctive; that used for the Title "EAUG News". There is nothing like "Soho" in the PostScript fonts that are immediately available, so the thing to try is to download "Soho" to the printer. So, back to FontPrint.

Menu in the FontPrint window, "Add font" Soho. Highlight Soho, menu on the FontPrint window, go to Font, slide across to "Download" and click. There was no change in the appearance of Soho in the FontPrint window; it was already showing "Download" in the second column (see figure below). So, now to change the style of the title of this document to "Soho". This did not produce the desired effect on the Iyonix, but it did on the RISC PC when I had EasyFont Pro running on the latter machine. At the moment, I do not have the 32-bit version of EasyFont Pro available on the Iyonix. So, further progress must await that upgrade.

I am leaving all the odd fonts in this Ovation Pro file so that it makes some sort of sense, but I will change everything back to Trinity, Homerton and Corpus before generating the PDF version of this particular file.

Documents available

All versions of this document are available for download from the website:


If you are currently looking at this page off-line, the documents are available directly from the full website links immediately below. Each link may open a separate browser window.

On the website, this document appears as an HTML file. Otherwise get it from


The original Ovation Pro version ("Doc-OPro", for those with Ovation Pro or its reader) from


The modified OPro version ("Doc-OPmod" - all Trinity, Homerton, Corpus) from


The PDF version ("Doc-OPro/pdf") created from the modified Ovation Pro original from


The EasiWriter version ("Doc-Easi") created from the HTML version is available from


The PDF version ("Doc-Easi/pdf") created from the EasiWriter version is available from


And (if it works) the PDF version ("Doc-HTML/pdf") of the HTML version is available from


If you are looking at this while actually in the website, the various documents are available by Shift-Clicking on the simple links below. Each Shift-Click should open a Save window from which you can drag the zip icon to a directory of your choice (This avoids the clutter of opening a new browser window for each document you want to download.).

The original Ovation Pro version ("Doc-OPro", for those with Ovation Pro or its reader):


The modified OPro version ("Doc-OPmod" - all Trinity, Homerton, Corpus):


The PDF version ("Doc-OPro/pdf") created from the modified Ovation Pro original:


The EasiWriter version ("Doc-Easi") created from the HTML version:


The PDF version ("Doc-Easi/pdf") created from the EasiWriter version:


The original HTML version ("Create/htm"):


And (if it works) the PDF version ("Doc-HTML/pdf") of the HTML version:


Once you have downloaded and opened any of those above which are not marked as being "pdf" versions, you can try creating their PDF versions for yourself. I will be interested to hear how you get on with converting the HTML original.

If you accept this challenge, please note that you will be on your own and disavowed. What's more, your machine may self-destruct at any time; especially the older machines. Just joking!


Good luck.

Frank Watkinson

14th February 2006

PS.    This could be a developing subject.

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