Author Topic: Creating "Vector" rather than "Raster" drawings  (Read 2266 times)

Dave Loucks

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Creating "Vector" rather than "Raster" drawings
« on: September 25, 2015, 09:22:11 AM »
Figure 1: Example of drawing printed as scalable vector image

Advantage is that even scaled, no evidence of loss of resolution in image

When publishing a document, you know that what looks good on your screen doesn't necessarily look good printed, or worse, blown up to a wall size document.  For highest quality, scalable vector graphics look better than raster (scanned) images.  Scalable vector graphics are defined by mathematical equations, so they don't lose resolution when zoomed.

The easiest way I found of creating a vector graphic from inside programs like Excel or PowerPoint is to save the file as a PDF. 

However, some (many?) programs can't import a graphic image in PDF format.  Plus, even if you could, how do you extract just the graphic from a page that might also have a lot of text?

For that I use Inkscape.

The procedure I found that works best is the following:
  • From Inkscape, open the PDF file that you previously saved or printed from Excel, PPT, etc.
  • In Inkscape, from the File->Open menu, check the checkbox "import via Poppler"
  • Once imported, right-click on image and select "Ungroup"
  • Click away to deselect, then rubber band around any items you don't want (text, other images, etc.) and delete those items.
  • Save your cleaned up image as .eps (encapsulated postscript)

I've found that .eps works the best when importing graphics into Lyx (LaTeX front end editor).

Good luck!
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 09:44:09 AM by Dave Loucks »