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Importing graphics from Windows applications

Documents you typeset using LyX are usually exported to either a Postscript file (for printing) or a PDF file (for document exchange). On this page you will learn how to get high quality graphics in these documents.


Almost all bitmaps (raster graphics) can be included directly in LyX documents. They will automatically be converted to the right format for being included in Postscript or PDF.

Vector graphics

Especially in scientific documents, vector graphics are commonly used. It is important to keep them in a vector form so they can viewed or printed at any resolution without loss of quality.

Windows applications that create vector graphics (such a graphing and diagramming tools) usually allow you to export graphics in either the Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) format or as a Windows metafile (EMF or WMF).

If EPS export is available, this is the recommended format. EPS graphics can be included directly in Postscript files and can easily be converted to PDF graphics (LyX will do this automatically).

If EPS export is not available, it is usually possible to export a Windows metafile. If both EMF and WMF are supported, you should export the graphics to an EMF file (which is an improved version of WMF). The official Windows installer of version 1.5.5 and later include a Metafile to EPS Converter that will automatically convert metafiles. If this converter is not installed the graphics will be rasterized which results in quality loss.

Inkscape works very well as a vector graphics editor. As of LyX 1.6.6 SVG support is improved, but not entirely obvious. To use it, bring up Tools | Preferences, and find the Paths option. Add the full path to the directory that contains your inkscape.exe, matching the case correctly. Apply and save. Then choose Tools | Reconfigure. After reconfiguration has taken place, you should be able to return to the preferences dialog, look in the Converters option, and see the LyX has added three entries for SVG automatically. After that happens, SVG should work seamlessly.


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Page last modified on 2010-10-20 19:12 UTC