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I have done a figure using TikZ that uses the shadows.blur package. Using qtikz (my TikZ editor), I have exported the image as an eps file.

In my document, I use \includegraphics{theimage} and pdflatex automatically convert my eps to a pdf (theimage-eps-converted-to.pdf). However, when there is a shadow, the image is not vectorial! (if I manually do epstopdf, I have the same issue in the pdf)

If I export in pdf directly from qtikz, the image is exactly as expected. So my question is: is there a way to fix the way pdflatex converts my eps files?

  • How is the eps converted? pdftex doesn't do that. – Martin Schröder Aug 6 '14 at 12:38
  • @MartinSchröder pdflatex does that automatically. – Maxime Aug 9 '14 at 18:59
  • Normally it doesn't. And I was the maintainer once. Are you using MikTeX? – Martin Schröder Aug 9 '14 at 21:20
  • I don't know what is MikTex. I only use pdflatex on my Debian. – Maxime Aug 10 '14 at 14:08
  • Then I'm very curious what you do to get the eps converted. Please edit your question to include a complete minimal example. – Martin Schröder Aug 10 '14 at 18:30
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I suspect the shadowing uses PDF features, which are not available in PostScript. From the documentations, pgf-blur:

This effect can be achieved in TikZ/PGF with the circular drop shadow key,

And from the PGF manual:

In addition to the general shadow option, there exist special options like circular shadow. These can only (sensibly) be used with a special kind of path (for circular shadow, a circle) and, thus, they are not as general. The advantage is, however, that they are more visually pleasing since these shadows blend smoothly with the background. Note that these special shadows use fadings, which few printers will support.

Export the image as PDF and pdfTeX can include it directly without the need to run a converter for the down-graded PostScript file (the conversion is actually done by ghostscript).

  • "Note that these special shadows use fadings, which few printers will support." => Is that something I should worry about? Or if I use pdf it does not matter? – Maxime Aug 5 '14 at 18:10
  • I think, it is quite ok for the PDF format, it is the job of the PDF printing program to make it appropriate for the printer (converting to bitmaps, ...). – Heiko Oberdiek Aug 5 '14 at 18:12
  • an "ff" ligature was missing from the first quote, in "e...ect". fixed. – barbara beeton Aug 5 '14 at 18:52

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