How to convert some LaTeX text to a high resolution PNG image

Create the TeX source file dump.tex like this:
\shipout\hbox{$\infty \sum \int$}

Convert it to PDF:
% pdflatex dump.tex

Make sure that pk files don't appear on the console output of pdflatex. If they happen to appear, choose a different font, e.g. \usepackage{lmodern}.

Convert the PDF to PNG with Ghostscript:
% gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pngmono -r1000 -sOutputFile=dump.png dump.pdf

If you need a larger resolution image, increase the number after the -r flag above.

This solution generates a PNG with sharp edges (no smoothing). If you take a screenshot of the PDF in a PDF viewer, or you load the PDF directly into GIMP, you'll most probably get a smoothed (antialiased) image.

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