[OS X TeX] Distiller

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Sun Jan 29 05:40:50 EST 2006

On 29 Jan 2006, at 1:42, Ross Moore wrote:

> Hi Maarten,
> On 29/01/2006, at 8:14 AM, Maarten Sneep wrote:
>> ... you need epstopdf, unless the eps specifies the bounding box  
>> at the end of the file. Then you need to jump through hoops to get  
>> the conversion correct ...
> With a simple text editor you can just copy the information
> at the end, the paste it back at the top, replacing the line:
>   %%BoundingBox (atend)
> This is just 10-15 seconds work with  'vi'  or 'emacs',
> and not much more with 'alpha', 'BBedit' or 'TextEdit'.
> When there are many such .eps files to be processed together,
> then 'vi' is a fabulous tool for handling multiple files.
> Someone even more Unix-y than me could do it also with
> a script employing 'perl' , 'sed' , or 'awk' .

Yes, I thought so too. In fact, a sed script to do so seems terribly  
simple. However: eps can contain binary parts, the line endings can  
be anything, there may be multiple eps files included in a file,  
possibly causing the wrong bounding box to be picked up. There has  
been a discussion on this recently. Gerben has tried to put this kind  
of processing into epstopdf, and so far he hasn't found a reliable  
way to do so.

The discussion is available on http://news.gmane.org/ 
It is currently on page 5, starting with a message from me on the  
10th of January, posted at 21:11.

>> ... (I would advise to avoid tools that produce such output if  
>> possible).
> Sorry, I cannot agree with this kind of advice.


It may seem harsh, but I still stand by my point. If you have to jump  
through hoops to use the output, the least you should do it make the  
annoyance heard by the developer (even though technically it is valid  
eps output). For a particular tool, with no other included eps files,  
and a consistent set of line-breaks, and no binary data in the file,  
a sed script is indeed easy to write (and is mentioned in the thread  
I pointed at earlier).

Depending on how irreplaceable the tool is, and whether the sed  
script works, another tool can be just the way to go.

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