[Mac OS X TeX] WARMreader and the Marked Objects Adobe Illustrator plug-in

Francesco Costanzo costanzo at engr.psu.edu
Fri Jul 27 18:21:36 CEST 2001

<x-flowed>Ross (or anybody that can help):

Before we even begin, we want to thank Ross and Wendy for taking the 
time and effort to create WARMreader as a tool for including labels 
in graphics. The comments and questions below are things that we hope 
will help others in using WARMreader and provide feedback to the 
authors so that WARMreader can be improved.

After taking the time to learn about WARMreader, Gary Gray and I have 
the following comments to report:

[1] The help available (paper: W. McKay and R. Moore, "Convenient 
Labeling of Graphics, The WARMreader Way; and the examples available 
on line) does not tell the whole story. For example, we had to look 
in the file warmread.sty to understand that

- the default reference point for text labels is the lower left 
corner of an enlarged text box, as opposed to the center of the box 
(default for math labels).

- there are a multitude of "formats" for .bb files which have to be 
selected using commands of the type

- many of the commands that are placed in the preamble of the LaTeX 
files provided as examples by Ross Moore at:


are not essential for using WARMreader. In this sense, said examples 
are not good examples to get started. We would consider them advanced 
examples provided that a few comments lines be added to explain the 
effect of the WARMreader commands used.

It would be nice if there were some documentation that would get 
people like us (people that have used TeX/LaTeX for years but are not 
interested in deciphering style files) started (i.e., covering the 
bare essentials) with the bare essentials (for example, describing 
why $$ ... $$ (displaymath mode) are used to make sure that the 
imported figure is centered) of the package and then point to 
documentation for more advanced usage.

[2] Why is the .bb file format generated by the Marked Objects 
plug-in in Illustrator 9.0.2 different from the default format of .bb 
files? Why have more than one format? With only one format the "\let" 
commands shown above are not necessary.

[3] Instead of the commands
placed in the preamble of a LaTeX file to instruct WARDMreader to use 
the Marked Object plug-in syntax in reading the .bb file, why not 
define an option to the warmreader package? That is, something along 
the lines of

[4] Depending on how the .bb files is created, the internal numbering 
scheme used by WARMreader to identify the entries in the .bb file has 
NOTHING to do with the "number" labels placed in the .bb file;

[5] Provided that we understand why, for example, !D moves the text 
UP instead of DOWN, would it be difficult to change the internals of 
WARMreader so that  the nudging commands become intuitive (e.g., U 
mean UP and D means DOWN)?

COMMENTS on the Marked Objects plug-in for illustrator, which can be found at


[1] Would it be possible to contact Tom Ruark (the author of the plug 
in) directly to give him our feedback?

[2] Will the Marked Objects plug-in for Adobe Illustrator 9.0.2 work 
with the forthcoming release of Illustrator for MacOS X?

[3] The way the plug-in renumbers objects is such that if you have 
more than 9 objects, the objects will not appear in a sequential 
order in the resulting .bb file. This is because of the fact that it 
orders objects in the following manner:

[4] In the Marked Objects plug-in dialog window there is a pop-up 
menu with the following items:
- point
- rectangle
- polygon
- ellipse
- oval

The selection of one of these items seems irrelevant from the 
viewpoint of the .bb file creation. Is there an explanation as to why 
said menu is available?

[5] Why are the "Character" and "Paragraph" pallets always attached 
to the Marked Objects dialog window? We have to keep removing them 
... and it gets a little tedious after a while.

[6] We have found that with certain files (it appears to only happen 
when we begin with pre-Illustrator 9.x files, although we are not 
100% sure of this) the bounding box which is reported in the .bb file 
does not have the format %%BoundingBox: 0 0 xxx yyy
but it has the format
%%BoundingBox: xx1 yy1 xx2 yy2
(I hope this is not confusing)

Is this a problem for WARMreader?

[6] We have found that with certain files (it appears to only happen 
when we begin with pre-Illustrator 9.x files, although we are not 
100% sure of this) the coordinates of some of the marked objects (but 
not all), AT SOME POINT, start looking like (12200, -11971) (meaning 
appearing in the right position in the Illustrator file. One can 
re-enter the right coordinates of the and "update" the marked object 
record (by using the "Transform" pallet for example). However, after 
saving the file and re-opening it, the updated coordinates go back to 
taking on the absolutely screwed-up values.

We would be more than glad to work with Ross, Wendy, and/or Tom to 
improve these tools and/or fix any of these problems.

Best Regards,
Francesco Costanzo
Associate Professor

Address: Engineering  Science and  Mechanics  Department
          The Pennsylvania State University
          212 Earth and Engineering Sciences Bldg.
          University Park, PA 16802-1401
Phone:   (814)863-2030
Fax:     (814)863-7967
mailto:costanzo at engr.psu.edu

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