[Desktop_printing] Re: xpdf renders inkscape generated pdf badly

Derek B. Noonburg derekn at foolabs.com
Mon Apr 10 16:55:21 PDT 2006

On 11 Apr, Hin-Tak Leung wrote:
> Hmm, strangely enough, I don't think Derek (author of xpdf, and the
> pdftops backend used by cups) was in the desktop_printing list nor invited
> to the summit currently going on at Atlanta?

Actually, Michael Sweet invited me, but I don't have the time to attend.

> I suppose some of the OSDL folks were wondering why some of us complained
> about the quality of the inkscape generated pdf:
> http://groups.osdl.org/apps/group_public/download.php/2078/printingsummit.pdf
> While printing a few copies out (to show the US Embassy...), I found that
> it is particularly badly displayed by xpdf and xpdf derived renderers
> (gpdf, evince, and other poppler-based viewers?). In fact ghostscript based
> display (gv/ggv/gsview/ghostview) and acrobat reader on linux seems to display
> it alright. So it seems to be a limitation of xpdf-derived pdf viewers,
> but that's basically all the commonly installed pdf viewers in the linux world.

The text in that PDF file has all been vectorized, which is a bad idea
for a couple of reasons: display performance (fonts are faster because
they can be cached), and the file is no longer searchable or indexable.

That said, the next release of Xpdf will have anti-aliasing for vector
graphics, which will at least make the file look better (though it can't
address the performance or text extraction issues).

- Derek

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