[Tex/LaTex] My .eps images appear to lack resolution, but turn out crisp after compiling the document, what’s going on


I have produced some .eps images of graphs (using the Python matplotlib module) and they look very shoddy, e.g. the crosshatching looks like a very rough plaid, but when I compile my document with xetex, all of my images are crisp and clean again. Can anyone explain why my .eps images look poor by themselves, but (magically) look like they're supposed to in my document?

(I tried posting images, but I lacked two reputation points.)

Best Answer

This is likely due to the fact that some eps viewers do not do any kind of line smoothing on vector graphics previews. I have the same issue when using the eps viewer that comes with the TeX Live distribution on my Windows machine. However, when I use the preview application on my mac, the eps files are just as smooth as they are in the final pdf output from xetex. It just depends on the tool you are using to open the eps files.

The way I view "pretty" versions of my eps graphs (that I make in MATLAB) is by running them through acrobat distiller to convert them to a pdf file. By default, adobe acrobat reader (my default pdf viewer) displays vector graphics very nicely. These pdf files can also be used with the graphicx package.