There are three general routes to PDF output: Adobe’s original ‘distillation’ route (via PostScript output), direct conversion of a DVI file, and the use of a direct TeX-like PDF generator such as PDFTeX.
For simple documents (with no hyper-references), you can either
To translate all the LaTeX cross-referencing into Acrobat
links, you need a LaTeX package to redefine
the internal commands. There are two of these for LaTeX, both
capable of conforming to the
Heiko Oberdiek’s hyperref, and Michael Mehlich’s
hyper. (In practice, almost everyone uses
hyperref; hyper hasn’t been updated since 2000.)
Hyperref can often determine how it should generate
hypertext from its environment, but there is a wide set of
configuration options you can give via
\usepackage. The package
can operate using PDFTeX primitives, the hyperTeX
\specials, or DVI driver-specific
Both dvips and Y&Y’s DVIPSONE can
translate the DVI with these
\special commands into
PostScript acceptable to Distiller, and
dvipdfm and dvipdfmx have
\special commands of
If you use Plain TeX, the Eplain macros can
help you create PDF documents with hyper-references.
It can operate using PDFTeX primitives, or
for the dvipdfm/dvipdfmx DVI drivers.
While there is no free implementation of all of Adobe Distiller’s functionality, any but the implausibly old versions of ghostscript provide pretty reliable distillation (but beware of the problems with dvips output for distillation).
For viewing (and printing) the resulting files, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader is available for a fair range of platforms; for those for which Adobe’s reader is unavailable, remotely current versions of ghostscript combined with gv or gsview can display and print PDF files, as can xpdf.
In some circumstances, a
application is actually preferable to Acrobat Reader. For example, on
Windows Acrobat Reader locks the This answer last edited: 2014-01-22
This answer last edited: 2014-01-22