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Graphics Output (publication quality) from Mathematica?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg4646] Graphics Output (publication quality) from Mathematica?
  • From: siegman at (AES)
  • Date: Thu, 22 Aug 1996 03:55:02 -0400
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I have some general questions about graphical output from Mathematica.

Like a number of other people, I greatly admire the plotting (or graphing)
capabilities of Mathematica for displaying the results of numerical
calculations quickly and easily, but struggle to get publication quality
output with added annotations and labels, changed line weights, etc., from
the mma screen displays.  I find the mma tools for adding annotations to
plots, changing fonts, etc., very cumbersome and difficult to learn.

My solution thus far, which I believe other people do also, is to Copy the
graphic to the clipboard (this is on a Mac); Convert Clipboard to EPSF;
and save as a file.  I can then open this file and add text annotations, 
change line weights, etc. in any of a number of graphics program (e.g.,
SuperPaint or Illustrator).  I also find that the saved EPSF file prints
nicely at any scale in TeX using the \special command to input the graphic
into Textures, though the on-screen display in Textures is sometimes

One gimmick in this is that I find that if I shrink the initial on-screen
display down to, say only 20% of the page width on screeen (using the
mouse) before Copying it, and then magnify back up in Textures, the fonts
for axis labels get magnified also, which is what I usually want.  That
is, the initial screen display in mma is then shrunk and looks bad, but
the final printed TeX output is better.  Conversely, enlarging the initial
screen display up to full page width before Copying, which makes it look
better in mma, does the reverse as regards the final TeX output.

Shrinking before Copying in mma also means, however, that the _on-screen_
preview in Textures looks lousy, which I suppose is because the on-screen
preview in Textures uses the PICT part of the EPSF file, and it's been
captured at smaller scale.  I can live with this.

I do have two questions from this:

1)  How to write a graphic directly to a file as an EPSF file,
   without going through the Copy/ConvertClipboard step?  
   (I suspect I could RTFM on this, but maybe someone can say 

2) More significant:  Is there a variable that's accessible in mma by
   which I can find out the width and height of the resulting EPSF
   graphic? (which I need for later scaling in the TeX processing).

I suppose a third question is:  Is there a better or easier way using the same
tools, i.e. Textures for final printing?


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