[OS X TeX] [OT] Manuscript Revision Management etc.

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Wed Sep 21 21:46:36 CEST 2005

On 21 Sep 2005, at 4:08, Ross Moore wrote:

> On 21/09/2005, at 7:10 AM, Maarten Sneep wrote:
>> On 20 Sep 2005, at 22:47, Jung-Tsung Shen wrote:
>>> Also, for the journals to which I submit papers, they all  
>>> require .eps
>>> format for figures. Will metapost produce .eps output natively?
> Probably they only say that, because the specifications were written
> a long time ago, before PDF was popular and mature.
> You ought to be able to rely on a journal production team being
> able to convert a PDF image into a .eps file, if that is what
> they really *require* now.

I specifically asked when they were going to support pdf for figures,  
and the answer (about two years ago) was that they were looking into  
it, but at the moment they preferred eps. Of course any computer  
literate person working on the production of a journal can translate  
pdf into eps, OTOH, there are too many tools that produce slightly  
broken pdf (I know, I've been bitten: file worked OK in Acrobat  
Reader (4 or 5, the then current version) on Mac OS X/9 and Linux,  
but the same release on Windows barfed on it the culprit turned out  
to be a figure exported from Canvas).

>> The output from metapost is eps, but the fonts can be tricky  
>> (since eps does not include fonts, the fonts must be available on  
>> the system which further processes the files).
> That's a misleading statement.
> For .eps you are supposed to include *all* non-standard fonts;
> i.e., all except the "standard" 13 or 14, which are supposed
> to be available on the local system.
> It is possible to include these "standard" ones too.
> Indeed, this is advisable now, as the standard has been broken,
> with slightly different variants used on different platforms.

OK, let me rephrase that: eps is _not_ required to include the fonts  
that are used in the file (pdf is required to do so), and metapost  
will not include _any_ fonts, no matter how standard, or non- 
standard, since you are supposed to use the figures in TeX based  
documents, which will take care of the fonts (either in pdftex or  

So while the metapost output is *almost* eps (strictly spoken, a  
limited subset of eps), the font usage makes is hard to use the files  
outside of TeX. mptopdf will translate metapost output into pdf  
(using pdftex), and include all fonts, making it a lot easier to use  
those files outside tex based systems.

>> I have some instructions on how to translate a pdf into an eps,  
>> without relying on the availability of fonts. These instruction  
>> were posted to the list some time ago, but I can post them again  
>> if needed. The instructions were tested with the helpdesk of  
>> Elsevier, and should work for all Elsevier journals (and  
>> presumably other journals as well).
> Ghostscript can do this, as can most Adobe (Pro) software.

Again a rephrasing is in order: *if* you made your figures in  
metapost, and you have to supply a journal in eps, you have to  
translate the metapost output into something the journal can handle  
without a headache. Eps with all text replaced with the outlines will  
do just fine.

>> pdf includes all fonts, and can be more robust in many ways -  
>> including the ability to check that everything is there before  
>> starting that expensive printing run.
> This is what the journal production staff should be able to use.
> It ought to be their job to work around any font problems that may
> remain, not the author's.

Agreed, but the output from metapost is a special case especially  
when TeX fontencodings are thrown into the mix. The best solution  
involved translating into pdf and then using ghostscript with the - 
dNOCACHE option to replace text with the outlines. This will prevent  
editing the text in the figures, but ensures that no fonts are mixed  
up in the end.

     gs -dNOPAUSE -dNOCACHE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=epswrite \
         -sOutputFile=your-output-file.eps \

>> pdf files can lead to multiple inclusion of (partial) fonts in the  
>> output of pdftex. Since metapost output is converted by pdftex, it  
>> can take the fonts into account, and this produces smaller and  
>> more efficient files. eps files cannot be used by pdftex directly.
> pdfTeX tries to combine all occurrences of a base-font into a  
> single instance.
> For example, if there are graphics which use subsets of CMR10 for  
> labels on
> diagrams, as well as for the main body font, then it will just be  
> loaded once
>  --- assuming that it exists within the TeX installation (as of  
> course it does!).
> On the other hand, if different subsets of Times (or Helvetica) are  
> used in the
> graphics, then these may not be seen by pdfTeX as being from the  
> same font,
> so will not be combined.

I may have to rerun that test, but I remember that my thesis when  
created from tex source + metapost was smaller than when the same  
figures were created as pdf and then included. I guess pdftex missed  
some opportunities to combine some fonts.

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