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Importing graphics, is this really supported?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg25419] Importing graphics, is this really supported?
  • From: Jeff DuMonthier <jeff at>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 01:07:24 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

I have been trying to import diagrams into Mathematica so I can use
Mathematica notebooks as engineering notebooks.  The diagrams are
output from an electrical schematic capture tool as level 3 postscript
or encapsulated postscript.  Encapsulated postscript is one of the
formats the Import function is supposed to accept, but I have not been
able to read these files.  I can read other encapsulated postscript
files (as long as they are small) so it is not a problem with the
syntax of the function call.  Sometimes I get an error message stating
there is not enough memory to import the file even though I give large
allocations to Mathematica, Mathkernal and the translation utilities
and these files are only 100k-200k (line graphics).  Most of the time
there is no error message to give me any clue what is wrong, it just
doesn't work.  This is on a Mac and there are a variety of shareware
utilities which I can use to read these files and convert them to TIFF,
JPEG, GIF, PICT etc.  Reading the converted files usually fails with a
memory related error.  I would try this on a Unix version but I only
have version 3 for Solaris and the Import function is new in Version 4.

I have been able to import the diagrams by copying the pict images
directly from the shareware postscript converters and pasting them into
Mathematica.  However, pict is only supported on the Mac and I want to
be able to read the notebooks on any platform.  When I try to convert
the pict's to Mathematica's postscript format using the 'Convert To ->
Postscript' menu selection it processes for quite a while and runs out
of memory even with a 60MByte allocation.  I don't understand why a $20
shareware utility can do easily what a >$2000 package like Mathematica
finds an intractable problem.

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