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What is the best file format to use when typesetting in LaTeX? I really prefer eps for all my Matlab work, and now I found here on site ( Which figure type to use: pdf or eps? ) that people recommend pdf instead.

Also, I like converting with LaTeX so I can get more or less realtime preview in DVI. But problems arise when I have raster graphics to include - since it is not possible to make DVIs with rasters I currently encapsulate them in eps, but it looks bad - if I don't enter any sizing options, image looks enlarged, and automatically smudgy and bad. The same problem occurs with epss from Matlab, but scaling them down doesn't make them smudgy since it is real vectors. How come they appear enlarged?

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up vote 25 down vote accepted

For photos, screenshots and such bitmap graphics, you could use their native format (to preserve quality) if it's jpeg or png. Otherwise convert those pictures to png or at least to lossless jpg.

For drawings, plots and diagrams you better use a vector image format, because it can be scaled without quality loss. Possible vector formats are pdf and ps.

It also depends on which compiler you use: latex or pdflatex. The latter has some benefits like better justification because of microtypographic enhancements and it natively supports jpg, png and pdf, and you can use ps if converted to pdf.

My usage order with pdflatex is

  1. pdf - for example output of other programs
  2. ps - PSTricks or program output, then I use ps2pdf to go to 1.
  3. png - screenshots, bitmap graphics (if necessary convert to png)
  4. jpg - only if it's already the source format because jpg often uses lossy compression

Without pdflatex the question is not very interesting, latex supports only eps, conversion of bitmap images to eps is often not satisfying.

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