[Mac OS X TeX] small dots disappear in Quartz

Dave McCollum mccollum at colorado.edu
Sat Nov 3 16:02:51 EST 2001


>>- A very likely cause (in my mind, at least), is the use of the 
>>Symbol font for these graphics elements (the plot symbols in Matlab 
>>EPS files). It may be that the display/viewer differences could be 
>>due to whether or not the Symbol font is embedded into the PDF 
>>file. If not, then the font used to display the graphic elements 
>>may be different for different apps, compounding any issues 
>>associated with rendering engines and anti-aliasing.
>Assuming the problem does hinge on whether symbol font is being used 
>for plot-marker, then how do I check whether symbol font is being 

I have to apologize. I have created several plots in Matlab, printed 
them out as EPS files, and examined the contents of these files. It 
appears that my thought about the use of the Symbol font being used 
for "plot markers" was not quite right. The Symbol font is used in 
many cases for other annotations and various Greek letters, etc., 
especially when one uses TeX constructs in plot text labels.

My understanding of PS primitives is rather rusty, but it appears 
that Matlab generates the "plot markers" in EPS files out of PS 
primitives, not out of characters from the Symbol, or other, font.

Since your original query seems to be unrelated to the use of any 
fonts, the issue seems to be one of the type and quality of the 
rendering engines used in "viewer applications." The type of 
anti-aliasing used by Acrobat, Preview, etc., also have an effect on 
how these elements are displayed.

Is it really a bug that one app displays things differently from 
another? I am not sure, though there are many reported problems with 
the current PDF display in Quartz for OS X. Unless the rendering 
engines and type of anti-aliasing is the same for both Preview and 
Acrobat, I doubt that the plots will ever look exactly the same, when 
viewed from different apps.

Sorry about my initial confusion.


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