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Re: Mathematica to PDF (and PDF v. PowerPoint)

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg30566] Re: Mathematica to PDF (and PDF v. PowerPoint)
  • From: aes <siegman at>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 01:40:11 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <9mfmfs$242$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <9mfmfs$242$1 at>,
 Ioan Alexandre Romoscanu <romoscanu at> wrote:

> Hi
> I would like to create a pdf file form a mathematica notebook and do not
> manage to get an acceptable result. I use Mathematica 4.0 and Acrobat
> Distiller and followed all the instructions  given here and here.
> Any clue? Does anyone manage to create perfect pdf files form Math.
> notebooks?

Yes, I've found printing to PDF very handy for generating projectable 
slide shows from Mathematica output -- but I'm don't know whether I'm using the 
Math1 fonts or not in doing this (possibly not, because my output is 
focused on graphics, not on math typesetting).

Addl notes on generating slide shows in a single step using Mathematica and PDF:

1)  I'm using Mac PB G3, OS 8.6, Mathematica 4.1, Acrobat 5.0, and printing from 
Mathematica directly to PDF using the AdobePS printer driver that comes with 
Acrobat 5.0.  This drive has a "Print to PDF" option built in. 

Distiller is also present in the Acrobat folder as an ancillary app to 
Acrobat 5.0. I don't know whether the AdobePS driver uses Distiller as 
part of its processing engine when you print directly to PDF, or not.

2)  To make transparencies, set the page format to Landscape instead of 
Portrait in Mathematica Page Setup, and use the "Screen" options in the AdobePS 
printer driver dialog box.

3)  As add'l elementary tools for making slides, I use functions

   PrintPageHeading[headerString_]:= StylePrint[

   PrintHeading[headerString_]:= StylePrint[

to start a new slide with a heading, or to put a bulleted item on the 
transparency.  These are enough to compose simple transparencies with 
graphics plots and some text on them.

4)  Printing graphics with ImageSize->10*72 makes a graphic about big 
enough to mostly fill a transparency (with the (in)famous80% reduction 
taken into account).

5)  The primary reasons for generating slide shows this way -- that is, 
for using Acrobat instead of PowerPoint for slide shows, despite 
PowerPoint's other strong features -- are that you can create them 
direct from Mathematica, using Mathematica graphics, in one shot.  By contrast

a)  I don't know how to print from Mathematica (or any other program) directly 
into PowerPoint.

b)  To go from Mathematica to PowerPoint requires exporting a graphic from Mathematica 
to HD in EPS format; opening the EPS file in Illustrator and Saving it 
in order to create a preview; then importing the resulting  EPSF file 
into PowerPoint -- and after you've done all these steps, the *screen* 
PowerPoint image (which is what is projected in a slide show) still uses 
only the preview, not the EPS file, and looks lousy if you change the 
image size.

(Does Microsoft provide only a crippled version of PostScript rendering 
for screen images in PowerPoint as a deliberate tactic to force users 
into using MS's drawing and equation editing tools?)

(On the other hand, why can't Mathematica export an EPS, or EPSI, file with a 
*PICT* preview built in?)

6)  In addition, Acrobat 5.0 has a good built-in Full Screen slide show 
capability and an on-screen page-sorting or  slide-sorting capability 
using thumbnails that is nearly as good as PowerPoint's.  So, Acrobat is 
reasonable competition for PowerPoint as a slide show application.


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