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Re: Re> importing PS files

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: Re: Re> importing PS files
  • From: ross at
  • Date: Wed, 6 May 1992 17:22:32 +1000

My earlier answer to the original question may have been mis-interpreted.
It was not clear whether the question referred to PostScript files created
by Mathematica or files generated elsewhere. My answer referred only to
Mma-generated files, but with a Notebook interface you can do a lot more
(at least on a Macintosh, and presumably also on a NeXT).


Some PostScript files created outside Mathematica can be imported into a
Mathematica Notebook Front-End and displayed there. 

Indeed you can edit the text file to change the PostScript and have it
re-render the graphic with the changes.

This is all done in the Front-End --- there does not need to be a kernel
present for this.

With no kernel, use the editor, Copy, Paste method to get the (PostScript)
text file into a cell.
With a kernel, use the  !! (read text file) command to import the file.

I said `some`  PostScript files, because the Front-End is not a full
PostScript Interpreter.
If you stick to simple commands like:  
    moveto, lineto, stroke, fill, setgray, setlinewidth, setrgbcolour,
setdash, setlinecap
    newpath, gsave, grestore, def, scale, translate
you'll be OK.
Control operators are a different matter: e.g.  loop, repeat, for, if,
ifelse, stop, ...
I have not explored to find out which ones work and which do not. 
Perhaps someone at WRI can clarify precisely which commands have been
implemented in the Front-Ends.


For "PostScript" generated by Mathematica ---  the " are intentional, due
to above comments :-) 
there are more options...

Suppose you, or someone else, have created a Mathematica Graphics object
and saved it to a file using Display, e.g.

In[1] := Plot[.....]

Out[1] =  -Graphics-

In[2]:= Display["mygraph", % ]

Out[2] =  -Graphics-

There are several things you can do with this file  "mygraph".

1. Attach the Mathematica PostScript header...
   e.g. under Unix
                     psfix mygraph >

The resulting file "" can now be 
a) sent to a PostScript laserprinter, 
b) previewed with a PostScript viewer, 
c) imported into a word-processing program that handles Encapsulated
PostScript (EPS or EPSF) files
d) included into a TeX document via a \special  (depending on how your .dvi
files are handled).
e) any other use you may have for PostScript files.

All these are totally independent of the Mathematica origins of

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