[OS X TeX] Large Figure in Document? (and slow response of TeXShop)

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Sun Nov 20 05:34:34 CET 2005

Hi Gary, Jung-Tsung, and others,

On 20/11/2005, at 2:13 PM, Gary L. Gray wrote:

> On Nov 19, 2005, at 10:01 PM, Jung-Tsung Shen wrote:
>>> most certainly! in ilustratoor is is called "simplify", in other
>>> programs you can find equally well working functions.... i guuess  
>>> you
>>> will cut down the size to 1/50th :)
>>> ciao,
>>> martin
>> Martin,
>> Thanks for many helpful suggestions. I actually didn't know about the
>> "Simplify" command. :P

Nor did I. Thanks for the tip.
Which menu is it under, and in which versions of Illustrator ?
I cannot find it in  CS (11.0.0).

>> But this command doesn't help in my case: I was trying to capture a
>> band diagram with many almost flat bands. To get enough points on the
>> flat region (so they look better on a paper), I set Mathematica to
>> very high resolution to capure the flat region -- thus the many data
>> points ... in addition, the publisher requires eps format. I have
>> tried almost every means (i.e., illustrator saved eps -> pdf ->
>> WARMFigToPDF -> pdftops -eps) and generated each figure at around  
>> 3 MB
>> size, but TeXShop/Preview still don't like them ...

This sounds similar to a problem that I had to face a couple of years  
There, the image contained hundreds-of-thousands of tiny dots  
(perhaps even
a million of them) --- a bifurcation (orbit) diagram, for those who know
what this means.

Under System 9 (or earlier) it took Illustrator a 1/2 hour or more to
render the image, and even then only after setting a memory-partition
of 256 Mb.  And there was more than one of these images needed for a
paper in a Proceedings volume --- Wendy, do you remember these ?

The reason was that Illustrator was making a separate object for every
single dot. In particular, each integer coordinate was converted into
a floating-point number, with 8+ digits in each.
The file-size grew enormously as a result.
Editing, to add frames and labels, was quite impossible.

Solution:  do not "Open" the file in Illustrator.
     Instead start a new document and use the "Place.." command
     from the menu:       File > Place...

Then it would still take a little while (~1/2 min) to render, but
the image was editable and could be saved into .eps or .pdf .

In the book, we put 2 such images on the same page.
Even with the faster machines these days, it still takes
a while to render this page in a PDF viewer.
But that's OK, since we needed it for commercial printing.
It looks fabulous on the printed page --- thanks, Springer.

> I am writing a textbook that has hundreds of figures, many of which  
> were generated in Mathematica and then labeled using marked objects  
> and WARMreader. Some of these figures are 3MB+ and while I see a  
> delay when viewing the pages containing these figures, I certainly  
> don't see anything like you mention in your previous post. This is  
> with TeXShop 2.03 in Mac OS X 10.4.3. I wonder if there is  
> something odd about your figure that is causing this behavior?

The OP says that he has lots of different bands and data-points.
I could imagine that the problem might be similar.

When handling mathematical graphics, I usually try Ghostscript first,
using  epstopdf  or  ps2pdf  to create a PDF file.
Then I take this into Illustrator to adjust fonts, line-thicknesses,  

If there are math-labels, then I'd usually use WaRMreader Marked-Objects
for control over these at the LaTeX level. (But sometimes I just do it
all in Illustrator.)

> -- Gary

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                         ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                             office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                               tel: +61 +2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                            fax: +61 +2 9850 8114

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