[pdftex] SVG Graphics

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Jun 9 13:13:57 CEST 2011

On Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 2:02 AM, Kip Warner <kip at thevertigo.com> wrote:

> On Thu, 2011-06-09 at 14:26 +1000, Ross Moore wrote:
>> If you are using a Makefile, why don't you simply put a line
>> in there that checks for graphics files in one format,
>> then runs the converter into PDF?
>> After all, this is what Makefiles are for --- to schedule
>> multiple tasks to enable a complicated job to be completed
>> with the minimum of fuss (on a command-line, say).
>> Whatever route you take, you will need to know the syntax of the
>> conversion command that is needed on your particular computing
>> platform and operating system. These need not be, and most certainly
>> have not been, a constant thing over time and platforms. Hence such
>> commands are deliberately *not* pre-programmed into pdftex, nor other
>> TeX-based software, but can be added using macros if you really find
>> that the most convenient --- at the expense of loss of portability
>> of your documents to run on other platforms.
> Hey Ross. I've actually already got them converted automatically by
> using umbrello command line diagram export to get the images out of
> another project, some GNU find to build paths to them, and then epstopdf
> to convert.
> I'm capable of doing all of this, I just think it is an inelegant
> solution. Texinfo should be able to accept scalable vector graphics out
> of the box. =)

First, such conversions can't be fully automated.  Some projects have a
homogeneous set of figures that can all be converted using the same
settings, but for other projects there are often problems with image
compression, color spaces, etc. that may need tweaks for
specific images/figures.  Often one needs different conversions for
different versions of the same document (e.g., when generating
both online and print versions).   I know cases where the publisher
required the author to provide rasterized versions of some
(unusually complex) vector graphics figures.

Second, such conversions are not specific to tex-based workflows, so
we can rely on general purpose tools developed and supported by the
wider community.  Since these tools are open-ended, any attempt to
provide hooks from pdftex or luatex would at best provide a partial

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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