[OS X TeX] Preparation of illustrations for press

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Tue Mar 25 18:04:05 EDT 2008

Hi Bruno,

On 26/03/2008, at 8:33 AM, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> - Once I saw a Mac and a PC, both with illustrator, process the  
> same file. On the PC it was much faster.

That's most likely due to hardware differences (e.g., memory available
for graphics).

> - Opening an EPS file in Illustrator, modifying it and saving the  
> result to EPS creates a file about twice the size of the original  
> file. I tried to adjust the options I could identify (such as  
> creating neither preview nor thumbnail), but that didn't change the  
> file size much.

When you open an EPS created in another application,
then Illustrator tries to recognise every single piece
of the graphic (dot, line, circle, disc, polygon, etc.)
and wrap it up as a separate *object*, so that it can be
selected and modified.

This is what bloats the file-size.

With many scientific documents, resulting from data-capture
or mathematical simulations, you don't want any of this.

Instead you should start a new Illustrator document, and "Place"
the scientific part as a single object, preferably within a layer
initially by itself. Now add extra objects or masks, to create
a more professional-looking appearance for those parts of the
graphic that are for presentation, rather than science.

> - Adobe software have a tendency not to use the OS interface and  
> try to impose their own version of this interface instead. By this  
> I mean, for example, that by default Illustrator does not use the  
> standard OS X interface for the Open File and Print dialogs; there  
> are switches to restore the OS X interface for these, but it's not  
> obvious to find.
> Similarly, once you've installed Acrobat it installs by default a  
> PDF viewer plugin in Safari (whereas Safari is already perfectly  
> capable of displaying PDF files) and upon opening a PDF file in the  
> Finder a dialog pops up telling Acrobat isn't the default PDF  
> viewing application and suggesting to make it the default.
> - If you use Font Book to disactivate fonts, you'll realize the  
> disactivation is not taken into account by Illustrator. Obviously  
> Illustrator uses its own font management routines, not those of OS X.

Yes, these are annoyances at first;
but not hard to get used to.

The worst is the tendency to continually look for updates,
supposedly find some, then not install them properly
so that it all happens again next time you restart.

I've heard, and have had personal experience of it, that
Windows platforms have similar problems with the Updater.

> - I've experienced situations when an Adobe application does  
> something, and suddenly my Mac becomes unresponsive for several  
> seconds or minutes. When finally I manage to open Activity Monitor  
> I realize most of the CPU is taken by an Adobe process. That other  
> applications don't usually provoke the same phenomenon makes me  
> think Adobe applications are not optimized for the Mac. That they  
> take most of the CPU just for themselves shouldn't happen.

This is perhaps the Updater checking on the web?

> Moreover, I've noticed with Leopard a big problem with Adobe  
> Updater: for online access to scientific periodicals using my  
> university's subscription, I have to set a proxy auto-config (in  
> System Prefs > Network > Advanced > Proxys). After upgrading to  
> Leopard, I noticed that at times my Mac became extremely slow,  
> practically unresponsive and the fans started spinning and  
> spinning. Every time it lasted several minutes (between 10 and 20)  
> before either the Mac crashed or went back to normal. I finally  
> identified the cause as Adobe Updater running in the background,  
> and noticed the problem vanished when the proxy auto-config was  
> disactivated. No other software update mechanism I know provokes  
> the same problem.

Nice to know that you've found a possible work-around.

> All in all, my feeling whenever I use an Adobe application is using  
> a Mac afterthought of a Windows application. I hope that changes in  
> the future, and if so I'll be happy to use their applications, but  
> for the moment that's not how it feels.

Some aspects of some of their applications may be like this.
Others are (or rather, may have been) Mac-driven.

Think of poor Unix (Solaris and others) and Linux.
These are the real afterthought, for Adobe.

> Bruno



Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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