[OS X TeX] Off-Topic: Tool to vectorize bitmapped line art

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Sat Dec 23 02:28:51 EST 2006

Le 22 déc. 06 à 20:14, Jens Noeckel a écrit :

> On Dec 22, 2006, at 10:39 AM, Holger Frauenrath wrote:
>> I would like to convert (a larger number of) bitmapped line art  
>> images into vectorized line art (for further editing and, of  
>> course, inclusion into LaTeX files). Is somebody aware of any  
>> software tool to do this semi-automagically?
> Very briefly:
> http://potrace.sourceforge.net/
> http://www.inkscape.org/

There seems to be essentially two public-domain tools for tracing  
(i.e. vectorizing) bitmaps:

AutoTrace <http://autotrace.sourceforge.net/>
Potrace <http://potrace.sourceforge.net/>

They are based on different algorithms. There are i-Packages for both.

A couple of years ago I used both for vectorizing the logo of my  
research lab (that is, before we finally got hold of the EPS file  
produced originally by the graphic designer who had created the  
logo!), and got more satisfied with the output of Potrace:


There is a Java-based GUI for AutoTrace called

Delineate <http://delineate.sourceforge.net/>

I wasn't aware of Inkscape, thanks for pointing it out.

As far as I remember, you must first convert the bitmap picture to  
black-and-white .bmp file before applying AutoTrace or Potrace. Maybe  
that restriction has vanished now.

Adobe Illustrator includes also a vectorizing function, which I think  
was introduced in CS 1 or 2.

Hope this helps,

Bruno Voisin

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