I have an Adobe Illustrator file with 4 figures on it. I want to use these 4 figures separately in a LaTeX document.

What would be the best way to do so? Keeping in mind that:

  • I want to keep this one Illustrator file as the single source file, i.e., i don't want to split it up permanently into 4 files.
  • Illustrator (CS3) doesn't provide an 'Export selection to PDF' function (only a 'Save as ... PDF' but that includes all 4 figures as far as I can tell)
  • I want to minimize additional overhead in Latex (like specifying clipping) if possible?
  • 3
    Clipping doesn't put much overhead on LaTeX, only on you who have to figure out the correct dimensions. And the PDF is included only once, if you fear about this. – egreg Feb 11 '13 at 16:57
  • CS3 is old and unsupported. Update or use free software. – Martin Schröder Feb 12 '13 at 13:21
  • @Martin: if it was only that easy... – Rabarberski Feb 12 '13 at 16:44

This answer is an Illustrator answer since I understand that is at least partially where your problems lie.

In illustrator you can set the so-called Artboard size. When you set the artboard size, everything inside the artboard "box" will be visible in resulting files. If you want a PDF of what is in the artboard box then simply "save as" PDF as usual. This way you can move your artboard box around and save each partial figure as a separate PDF-file for inclusion in your LaTeX document.

You can also save bitmap based graphics (e.g. PNG) using the "Save for web & devices" but when doing so you need to specify the output width/height in terms of pixels. The artboard box provides the same function in this case.

I should add I use CS5 but as far as I recall there should not be any significant differences.

  • Thanks, I wasn't aware of the artboard function (and putting unused things outside it). Seems in CS3 the artboard isn't as flexible as it is in CS4 or later (e.g. no multiple artboards, and no artboard tool to easily move it around). However, your answer let me to the solution of using a rectangle of the right size, selecting it and then Object > Crop Area > Make – Rabarberski Feb 12 '13 at 8:49
  • I guess I was optimistic thinking there was less of a difference between versions but I am glad you found the way in CS3. – Peter Jansson Feb 12 '13 at 8:53

After the very useful answer of Peter Jansson on using the artboard, in Illustrator CS3 (which has reduced artboard handling capabilities) the easiest way seems to be:

  1. Create a rectangle of the desired size around each of the subfigures
  2. With the rectangle selected, go to Object > Crop Area > Make
  3. This will put crop marks around the desired area.
  4. If I then do 'Save as ... PDF (without Illustrator capabilities)', the resulting PDF has the size of the rectangle and contains only its content.

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