[texhax] Illustrations from other books

pierre.mackay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Sun Sep 25 19:22:06 CEST 2005

Dr. Friedrich Katscher wrote:

> I am writing a book on the history of mathematics with LaTex. 
> Everything works fine. I was able to draw some geometrical figures.
> But I have a problem: I want to illustrate the book with pictures, 
> small ones and whole pages, from other books (old ones, from the 16th 
> century). What can I do?

It depends not so much on TeX as on the driver you use for printing.  
Dvips is wonderfully helpful in this respect, and that is one of the 
reasons to retain the extra step TeX -> PostScript -> PDF. 
Scan, (or photograph with a digital camera) and use GIMP to convert to 
Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files.  I suggest photography for any 
half-tone in which you can sense the screening, because direct scanning 
tends to give you a very precise picture of the screened dots.  300 dots 
per inch is all you need for half-tones, but if you want really sharp 
black and white line art, you will have to learn some techniques in GIMP 
and work from as much as 1200 DPI. 

Dvips will allow you precise placement and scaling of the EPS results.  
Take a look at the University of California journal Classical Antiquity 
if you would like to see some results of dvips placement of EPS files.   
Issue 23.1 after page 93 will show (Figures 4 and 6) what the risks of 
getting too precise a picture of the half-tone screen are.

Pierre MacKay
Emeritus Professor, Classics
University of Washington.

Humanist Typesetting and Graphics

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