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In the template for the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science the guideline PDF states:

Preferably the images should be enclosed as PostScript files – best as EPS data using the epsfig package.

My question is simply "are they serious about this?" From what I know, epsfig is an old package and it is better to use graphicx instead. I have even found comments on this very page that it is better to use graphicx.

I usually use the pdfLaTeX compiler for my writing as it most directly gives me what I want. I now have two questions for you:

  1. In your experience, is it really necessary to use EPS images? It is much easier to use PDFs and use pdfLaTeX than making EPS files and going to PDF via PS.
  2. Is it really necessary to use the ancient epsfig package?
  • No, they aren't serious. – egreg Nov 27 '14 at 18:24
  • @egreg So in your experience, posting a document compiled with pdfLatex using pdf files and the graphicx package with the pdftex option is OK? – 5xum Nov 27 '14 at 18:26
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    I think that they didn't update the manual; requiring DVI output in 2010 seems quite bizarre. – egreg Nov 27 '14 at 18:30
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epsfig in its current form isn't actually ancient. It was written at same time as graphicx but it is emulating the much older latex2.09 package of the same name. Its behaviour is identical to \includegraphics — just a small syntax change:

\epsfig{file=foo,a=b,x=y}

becomes

\includegraphics[a=b,x=y]{foo}

There is no reason at all to use epsfig, unless processing documents from the 1980's (if the publisher really insists on it, it probably doesn't do any harm, it's just a silly restriction)

As for whether you need to use EPS, that depends on the publisher, often they have specific requirements for their production systems that are not obvious when you just look at the author submission form.

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  • I've recently read answers by you in which you vehemently tell people "do not load epsfig" (I didn't actually know about the package until I saw you say this). In one of them, you say that "the epsfig latex package has been obsolete for 20 years" (which feels pretty ancient). Yet in the graphics manual (from 2014/04/27) there is no mention of this (ie, that you shouldn't load epsfig) at all. Shouldn't this recommendation be in the manual as well? I thought it was odd that the manual said nothing about it. – jja May 14 '15 at 14:04
  • @jja the graphics manual isn't really from 2014, apart from a minor tweak or two, it is from the same period. epsfig graphics and graphicx were all written at the same time, but as it notes in its own documentation epsfig is simply a wrapper around graphicx to allow people to switch easily to latex2e while preserving the syntax of the old latex209 epsfig and psfig packages. Updating LaTex2.09 documents was a major concern then, I wasn't expecting the package to be still of use 20 years later:-) – David Carlisle May 14 '15 at 14:21
  • @jja texdoc grfguide intentionally doesn't mention epsfig at all apart from a small listing at the end. The documentation for epsfig is obtained by texdoc epsfig.pdf and the documentation in full is: emulate epsfig.sty and most varieties of psfig. So if you are not needing that emulation, don't use it! – David Carlisle May 14 '15 at 14:24
  • Sure. I definitely won't. :) The only reason I asked was because when I wrote texdoc epsfig I expected to see some sort of explanation about why it shouldn't be loaded. I thought it was weird that it wasn't there even though the manual was recent. Thanks for clearing that up. – jja May 14 '15 at 14:57

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