[XeTeX] Your advice for generation of tables/forms with decorations?

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Fri Apr 29 23:47:23 CEST 2011

Hi Kārlis, and André,

On 30/04/2011, at 6:14 AM, BPJ <bpj at melroch.se> wrote:

> 2011-04-28 15:14, Kārlis Repsons skrev:
>> On Thursday 28 April 2011 09:27:22 André Bellaïche wrote:
>>> Use Adobe Illustrator.
>>> Typeset the table into a one page PDF file, open the file with Illustrator,
>>> and add the decorations. Inport the decorated table using includegraphics.
>> But I need automation... Meaning, the created (EPS, MetaPost-like etc)
>> decorations get composed with text in *TeX!
> Do you need automation in the sense of automatized
> production of different PDFs with different tables *and*
> different graphics in each file? If so Metapost probably is
> your best choice for the graphics, though you will probably
> need a script (shell, Perl or something else) to generate
> the Metapost and *TeX source files.

There are other options too, such as Xy-pic and Tikz.
Have you looked at The LaTeX Graphics Companion book?
This is full of ideas on how to incorporate appropriate graphics elements into documents produced using TeX-based software and workflows.

Can you provide an example of what you are trying to achieve?
This will help in evaluating which strategies might be the most appropriate for you.

> Needless to say that can
> get ugly pretty quickly (code to write code -- been there,
> done that! ;-). You can have the same script, or another
> script invoked by it, invoke ps2pdf to convert Metapost
> output to PDF and pdftk to stamp the one PDF with the other
> (if you are comfortable with Perl and need a biggish script
> for the job there is a PDF::Tk module which I've used, and
> searching CPAN for "latex" may also turn up some useful
> things), unless you can import the graphics file into the
> PDF generated by *TeX from inside *TeX.
> /bpj

Hope this helps,


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