I have a ps file,and converted it to a pdf file using ps2pdf.

ps2pdf elden.ps elden.pdf

When I open the pdf file in evince, and try to select some text in it using my mouse, the selected content is not the text but some incomprehensible symbols, and also it cost a lot of memory for opening the ps and pdf files and a lot of CPU time for selecting.

I was wondering how to convert the ps to a pdf file whose text can be selected and copied, and without much memory and cpu time?

  • 1
    How was the ps originally created?
    – Bernhard
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 0:08
  • If the PostScript file is not just a raster image, you should be able to translate into Portable Document Format without much changes.
    – vonbrand
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 0:43
  • @Bernhard: probabily using some strange package in LaTex (not by me).
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 0:43
  • @vonbrand: you can try to convert the ps file to pdf. Then you will understand my questions.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 0:44
  • 1
    Tim, this is the usual behavior of many TeX articles/books/whatever (tex->dvi->ps->pdf, although one can go from tex to pdf directly without these troubles). To convert to a normal, selectable pdf, barring having the source (which you don't), the only way is to pass this file through OCR. Commented Mar 17, 2013 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


This is Fedora 18, up to date.

The original PS file is math-heavy (it is a set of 28 slides, created from a TeX DVI file with raster fonts). It reads fine in evince (but upside down), and the result of ps2pdf also reads fine in evince and xpdf.

At most you could hope to get the (scanty) text on the slides, most of it is math that won't translate at all into understandable text, even under ideal circumstances, much less into formulas. The only way to make that into LaTeX math formulas again (or whatever other format you'd like) is to retype them.

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