[pdftex] Better {picture} environment drawing with pdflatex? (eepic-like)

Willemijn Vermaat vermaat at let.uu.nl
Mon Apr 22 12:37:05 CEST 2002

I am sending this e-mail on behalf of a friend and coleague of mine, 
who has the following question:

I am looking for a way to produce good-quality diagrams in pdflatex, 
using the {picture} environment.  When I use plain latex and convert 
to PostScript, I can use the style eepic.sty, which redefines the 
line-drawing commands of the {picture} environment to use PostScript 
specials (TPIC specials, I believe).  But the specials are not 
compatible with pdflatex, so I need something that achieves the same 
effect in pdflatex.

Since PDF primitives are more powerful than the simple line-drawing 
font used by the default {picture} environment, it should be possible 
to redefine {picture} environment commands to use the appropriate PDF 
primitives (right?). In a perfect world, this could be a "driver" for 
eepic, so that I could select the [dvips] driver to get PostScript 
specials, or the [pdf] driver to get PDF primitives.

But eepic cannot do this; is there another package that does?  I have 
read that ConTeXt can process TPIC specials with the help of 
Metapost, but I have not seen anything that would work with ordinary 

For my needs, drawing straight lines of arbitrary lengths is sufficient, as
long as the quality is good and the commands of the {picture} 
environment can be used.  (I have a program that automatically 
generates drawings using {picture} commands, so switching to xfig, 
for example, is not an option).

I hope that there is a solution to this outside of Context.  Please 
let me know if you know of anything (or if you could help come up 
with a solution).

(Please email me if you have an answer.)

Alexis Dimitriadis
alexis at ling.upenn.edu

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