[texhax] Summary and thanks re Importing R graphics

doug waud douglas.waud at umassmed.edu
Fri Jun 4 03:49:48 CEST 2004

Hi again

Peter Flom wrote:
> Thanks to all who responded.
> With their help (and that of the LaTeX graphics companion) I have
> isolated the problem: It appears related only to the DVI driver.  I
> tried different driver options, none are satisfactory (although they
> fail on different graphs).  PDF files appear to be fine, so I am
> sticking with them for now.
> However, it would be nice if the DVI viewer worked properly,

I believe it does. It views dvi files. That was what it was designed to do.

> for two
> reasons: First, especially as a newbie, I do a lot of drafts, and the
> DVI comes on screen noticeably faster than the PDF files.

That is because it is easier to deal with just the one type file.
(See also comments below on a practical work-around.)

> Second, some
> coauthor may prefer something other than PDF files, since they seem to
> be a lot smaller.

Again, the dvi format was designed to deal just with text (more 
generally boxes into which letters could fit). Thus it is really "lean 
and mean" which probably reflects to some extent it's origin in an age 
when one had to use slow computers etc.

I also don't see why any coauthor would want a pdf file as a starting 
point. Would the .tex source not be the right one to exchange? You could 
also send the separte eps files but one of the team could assume 
reponsibility for placement during the formative phase.

> The MIS people where I work also frown on sending and
> receiving large files via e-mail, and some of the PDF files are already
> getting big.

You can't have cake and eat it too. Once you open the door to graphics 
you have to expect more complexity.

dvi files have the \special escape hatch so one can include instructions 
on how to deal, for example, with an eps file. However, dvi viewers will 
ignore those \special commands. On the other hand, another viewer can be 
designed to handle them. As Karl Berry indicated, some dvi viewers have 
been extended to do this. To go the next step, from ps to pdf you need a 
still more complex viewer. That is Acrobat (or other such program). 
However, the price you will pay is file size and time to load and 
display. Generally, I find that once I get one figure going ok, I can 
drop back and focus on the text and cycle through revisions of that with 
the dvi viewer and the assumption that the pictures will come out ok in 
the last round when I put out pdf with the pictures included. This will 
not help with your MIS people :-( ; I don't know how to deal with  their 

> Thanks again, and, if anyone has more info, I would appreciate it

As you have probably realized by now, that is not a safe statement to 
make!  :-)


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