[OS X TeX] ps2eps and bbox

Michael Sharpe msharpe at ucsd.edu
Mon Jun 15 23:25:16 EDT 2009

The PERL script ps2eps, which is supposed to construct a correct  
bounding box for a ps file, is useful but a bit buggy, as Herb Shulz  
pointed out in a commentary on one of his scripts. It depends  
crucially on a C program named bbox, which seems to makes errors of up  
to a couple of points in computing the bounding box. I've corrected  
some of those bugs, and it seems to improve the accuracy considerably,  
so that the 'tight' setting is now useful. I've emailed the author,  
Roland Bless, but have not yet heard back from him. Meanwhile, if  
anyone else is interested, I've detailed the corrections and posted  
the new Intel binary at


As bbox was installed as part of Mactex 2008, you will have to either  
replace /usr/texbin/bbox with the new version. or place the new  
version in a folder searched ahead of /usr/texbin in your PATH.

Note that this is primarily of interest to those working with eps  
files rather than directly with pdf graphics, but in my experience  
most publishers still want eps files, and that is the only form  
understood by PSTricks.

There is still a problem with bbox after the fixes---the hires  
bounding box is not necessarily contained within the BoundingBox (off  
by up to a point), which should not be hard to fix, but my C is very  
rudimentary. It seems that, having computed the hires bounding box,  
one should be able to define the (tight) bounding box using floor and  
ceil rather than the method used in bbox.c.


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