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Another minor but inconvenient property of text in Mathematica graphics

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg37903] Another minor but inconvenient property of text in Mathematica graphics
  • From: AES Newspost <siegman at>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 00:53:22 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

When you insert text into Mathematica graphics, a large number of the 
characters or symbols are invisibly converted from Helvetica, or 
whatever text font you may be using, into one of Mathematica's "Symbol" 
fonts, which are called Math-something-or-other.  

This includes a fair number of characters which are standard in the text 
font family and really don't *have* to be converted, including not only 
"math" characters, such as + and = signs but punctuation such as [ ]  

The net result is that when you Export the graphics to an external 
PostScript file a string such as "Re[x]" becomes four separate and 
distinct strings, namely "Re", "[", "x" and "]".

Suppose you then import this EPS file into, say, Illustrator for 
touch-up and decide you want to make a global increase in font size for 
better appearance (something it's very easy to do in Illustrator).  If 
this were a single string Illustrator would know it should also increase 
the spacing between the characters appropriately, even with possibly 
different fonts for different characters, and the whole string would 
still look OK. 

With separate substrings, however, the spacing between them doesn't 
change and the enlarged characters overlap onto each other.  Pulling 'em 
apart individually is very tedious, and I haven't identified any global 
way to fix the problem.

"Power tends to corrupt.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
    Lord Acton (1834-1902) (slightly modified)
"Dependence on advertising tends to corrupt.  Total dependence 
    on advertising  corrupts totally." -- Modern equivalent.  

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