[OS X TeX] gradients and PAINFULLY slow previews

Gary L. Gray gray at engr.psu.edu
Sun Mar 10 22:48:49 EST 2002

Since graphics appear to be the topic du jour, here is one that has been
plaguing us for some time.

We like to use gradients when we draw stuff in Illustrator since they look
so darn good. We mark up the files using the Marked Object Plug-In and then
save them as .eps files. We then include the .eps files in a LaTeX document
and typeset them using the xy and warmread packages using TeX and
Ghostscript to get typeset labels on the figures. At this point we can
either use the resulting .pdf file (with the proper viewport since it does
not have the proper bounding box) for inclusion in our documents or with a
little more processing, we get .pdf and .eps files with the proper bounding
boxes. When the original Illustrator .eps file has gradients, it takes a
huge amount of time for the preview to appear when we typeset the original
.eps file (or when we include the marked up file in a subsequent document,
assuming we are willing to wait for the original typeset to finish). Last
night, I created an Illustrator .eps file with a large number of gradients
and it took almost 20 minutes for the preview to appear on a 667 MHz Ti
PowerBook G4. That is insane!

I should mention that the resulting .pdf file also takes forever to appear
in Acrobat under OS X. Is this a bug in OS X? Are we creating gradients that
are overly complex (we are using the default settings)? How can we remedy

Thank you,

-- Gary

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