So I am also sending this to both the pstricks and the powerdot lists as it relates to both, but mostly to compiling via dvi-> dvips -< ps2pdf or similar.

I make my lecture slides with Powerdot and use pstricks a lot to create arrows, circles, diagrams and so on. But I also include eps figures, some on which I operate with pstricks.

The problem is that some of my eps files (such as from Mathematica or ones I have converted my jpg with lots of resolution are very large ( 50--60 mb)

This then makes the latex compiling take forever.

I sometimes use an include statement so I can % out the worst of these slides except on final compilation, but this get annoying,

Anyway to precompile some of this stuff so that the final compile takes less time,

  • 1
    it isn't clear what you are doing really, latex doesn't need to see the eps file at all, it will look for a bounding box, but if you specify the bounding box then it doesn't open the eps at all, dvips just copies the eps into the resulting ps file, so complexity of the eps shouldn't matter (just the file size) so only the ps2pdf stage really looks into the eps. But you also mentioned jpg? Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 21:14
  • You can pstricks let produce an .eps file, which is then later on included into another document, as here: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/172764/opacity-and-transparency/…
    – user31729
    Commented Sep 5, 2014 at 21:17
  • There are some ways to reduce the size of eps files generated by Mathematica without reducing the image quality. This answer may be of interest. Commented Sep 6, 2014 at 9:29

3 Answers 3


I have the same problem when I compile with complex eps figures produced by the PSTricks package. The compilation time can be greatly reduced by compiling with pdf figures using pdflatex. The compilation is almost immediate.

But this means you cannot use packages such as PSTricks within the compilation, but would have to ps2pdf all your eps figures. Anyway, I find it a good habit to plot figures in separate files using dvi-> dvips-> ps2pdf. The boundary is easily handled by the TeXtoEPS environment provided by PSTricks. Note that when you compile a pdf with the boundary specified by pspicture environment, you will have to use the following commands:

latex figure.tex
dvips figure.dvi -E -o figure.eps
ps2pdf -dEPSCrop figure.eps

Pass the .eps file through the eps2eps utility. The Mathematica-generated file gets smaller and the eps figure is nearly instantly included using the latex command.

  • It looks OK to me. To my experience, Mathematica's eps files tend to be bloated and leave room for improvement (e.g. removal of things that aren't printed by covered by other things) Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:13

Switch from powerdot to beamer, then you can use PSTricks directly with xelatex or with \usepackage[pdf]{pstricks} and running pdflatex -shell-escape <file>

Powerdot cannot handle images other than eps or ps.

  • Good to know. I really feel Beamer is better, I use to make Beamer slides with the help of animate (see for e.g. this one) . But I go back to Powerpoint these days......I can't change the fact that most people like to see flashy slides.
    – Troy Woo
    Commented Nov 16, 2014 at 21:01

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