PSTricks and ConTeXt

Denis Girou Denis.Girou at
Fri Apr 21 20:53:28 CEST 2000

This is the PSTricks mailing list, devoted to discussions about computational
graphics in (La)TeX using the PSTricks package from Timothy van Zandt.
For help using this mailing list, see instructions at the end of message.

>>>>> "Richard.Hensh" == Richard Hensh <hensh at> writes:

    Richard.Hensh> Is it possible to use PSTricks with ConTeXt? I doubt it but it's worth a
    Richard.Hensh> shot.

  I think that nobody try it and in any case I never saw any information on
such experiments (I suggest some months ago to an experienced PSTricks user
to try it, but she didn't).

  Nevertheless, my personal feeling was rather positive, just because PSTricks
and ConTeXt are both "only" (in this special meaning...) two generic macro
packages built above plain. And as I found the question interesting, I just
make one hour experiment mylself (I only read various documentations on
ConTeXt in the past and never use it before. I do not plan to do it personaly
in the future, because I have too many backends on LaTeX, because I do not
want to restart from scratch and because I think it would require a lot of
efforts to format some really complex documents I use in my professional work,
but I found some big advantages to ConTeXt: a convenient and coherent
interface, a more centralized development which can avoid for a part the
incompatibilities between modules and the plurality of solutions for the same
goals, etc. - but please do not start here a discussion on the characteristics
of the various TeX formats available, which is not our topic here!)

  I make my tests with a teTeX installation. First I update the ConTeXt
installation with the last one available (in CTAN/macros/context) which is
ver: 2000.3.27, not forgetting to update the database by a texhash command.
Second I build a format, adding in fmtutil.cnf a line:

cont-en	        etex             cont-usr.tex	cont-en.ini

(obviously, we can't use pdfetex as engine, as proposed, because this one will 
not support the PSTricks \special's).

  Third I make the format using the command:

fmtutil --byfmt cont-en --dolinks

  Then I build a ConTeXt file which include some PSTricks drawings (I test a
basic one and another more complex one for a tree), compiling them with the

texexec --format cont-en --tex etex t-pst.tex

  Globally, and without testing more, it work correctly, with the following

    - there is an incompatibility between C and P concerning the usage of the 
| character in macro names. So, I just poorly hack pstricks.tex to comment all
the macro names using the | character:

\@namedef{psas@|}{\psk at tbarsize \tx at Tbar}

    - obviously, we must use the plain syntax for all the PSTricks macros,

    - not surprisingly, as this was basically the same problem with LaTeX
(solved by the `pstcol' package from David Carlisle), there is an
incompatibility between the color management models of C and P, so the colors
used in the PSTricks macros must be defined in the PSTricks way.

  If ever you (or somebody else) are interested to test it more and to found
clean workarounds to the small incompatibilities I notice, it could be an
interesting thing for the future.


The list interface (subscription, information, access to the archives) is on:
Otherway to unsubscribe, send mail to pstricks-request at
with a blank subject and in body the line unsubscribe <email-address>

More information about the PSTricks mailing list