[Ipe-discuss] problems including pdf figures with ipe 6pre25

Kostas Oikonomou ko at research.att.com
Sun Mar 26 21:09:34 CEST 2006

> No, Ipe currently has no way to incorporate external PDF data in its own 
> output.  What exactly are you trying to achieve?

I'm using Ipe to make slides.  One of the slides (more, if it were 
easier!) shows a plot of a bunch of data.  The plot is generated by 
GnuPlot.  It is a scatterplot, i.e. a few thousand points at various x,y 
coordinates, axes, and labels on the axes.  It is essential for the plot 
to be scaleable, otherwise when the slide is projected it looks ugly, 
unlike the rest of the slides :-)

As I mentioned, both the presence of text and the number of points makes 
using pdftoipe impractical.

> I currently have no plan to add this feature to Ipe.  The reason is that 
> the feature would probably disappoint many people, because:
> * Ipe doesn't know PDF.  So Ipe cannot display the contents of the 
> included scalable figure on the screen - you would only see an empty 
> rectangle where the figure will go.

Right, I understand.  While that is not optimal, I don't find it too 
bad, especially considering the alternatives.

> * Ipe wouldn't know how to generate Postscript output for the included 
> figure.  So saving in EPS format wouldn't work - once you have included 
> a scalable graphics in PDF format, you would no longer be able to save 
> in Postscript.  (Or Ipe would need to use an external program like 
> "pdftops" to do the conversion to EPS format).

I don't mind not saving in EPS format, PDF is fine.  In general, if you 
were using Ipe to edit a Postscript figure, saving it in EPS would be 
desirable.  Lacking that, saving in PDF is ok.

> Other than this, adding the feature would be realistic (but not trivial 
> - unlike EPS inclusion, which is simply copying of text, PDF inclusion 
> needs some parsing of the PDF document to extract the PDF objects that 
> need to be copied).

Are you saying EPS inclusion would be easier?  In that case, problem solved!

Under certain conditions, Ipe seems able to include PDF (via 
\includegraphics{...}) right now, although it doesn't display it. 
Whether it is able to do so or not appears to depend on the file 
contents, and on how the EPS to PDF conversion was made.  For the 
particular file I'm working with, ps2pdf made Ipe report an error in the 
.pdf file generated by PDFlatex.  However, and old copy of Adobe's 
"distill" worked.  But then I changed the .ps file a bit, and it stopped 

As a final note, I was in the end able to make a scaleable plot that 
also shows on the screen.  I did it using the "latex" terminal driver of 
gnuplot, which produces the plot in the form of a LaTeX picture 
environment.  You can put that inside an Ipe text box by 
\input{filename.tex}.  The "latex" driver lacks a lot of features, but I 
hope this is a stopgap measure.


More information about the Ipe-discuss mailing list