[OS X TeX] TeX & Mathematica 5.2

Louis A. Talman talmanl at mscd.edu
Tue Nov 29 01:22:42 CET 2005

On Nov 28, 2005, at 4:54 PM, Ross Moore wrote:

> Both Export and Display are extremely versatile.
> The Help Notebook tells you all the possible formats that are  
> supported
> for different kinds of data, not just graphics.
> In particular, you can export directly to a resolution-dependent
> format, such as  .jpg or .png , thereby obviating the need to use
> GraphicConverter.
> However, I've no experience in doing this, so cannot comment
> on how good a job it does.

"Export" works reasonably well.  However, "Display" must be used with  
a great deal of caution in storing graphs as .gif  files (and,  
presumably, as .png files--though I haven't tried these).  There is a  
long-standing bug in Mathematica's psrender utility which causes it  
to ignore "Thickness" directives for lines in certain particular  
orientations.  This can be seen by trying

L = Table[Line[{{0,0},{Cos[t], Sin[t]}}, {t, 0, 2 Pi - Pi/16, Pi/16}]

P = Show[Graphics[{Thickness[0.03], RGBColor[1, 0, 0], L}],  
AspectRatio -> Automatic]

Display["~/Desktop/Stuff.gif", P, "GIF"]

and then examining the resulting file in Preview.

The bug doesn't affect "Export", which is slower but should be used  
with any graphic that involves "Thickness" directives.  When I  
reported this bug to Wolfram, Inc, their response was, essentially,  
"As you have found, 'Export' is the preferred means of conversion."   
The bug may have been fixed in v5.2, but I doubt it.  It appears in  
v5.0 just as it has appeared ever since v3.0 (or earlier)--which  
didn't include "Export" and was therefore rather frustrating to use.

On the other hand, I have never experienced any difficulty in using  
the "Save Selection As" option from the "Edit" menu.

--Lou Talman
   Department of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
   Metropolitan State College of Denver


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