Graphics Programs Reference
Another option is to use an image format output such as a bitmap,
JPEG, or TIFF file. These will not give high quality curves (you will see
the pixels), but they are fine for images. Bitmap files can be produced
using the -dbitmap on Microsoft Windows, or by using a screen grab
utility on other platforms (for example, snapshot or xv on the UNIX
machines, or Snapz on the Macintosh).
When incorporating large images into other documents, consider
using bitmaps instead of PostScript files. For large images, bitmap files
are much smaller and may enable you to get around memory problems
when printing large files.
In some cases large z -data images produced using matlab's image
function are better rendered using the contourf (filled contour) function.
The final graphic will take longer to calculate in matlab, but if you print
it in PostScript, the file will not only be much smaller, but the quality
will be higher because you won't see the pixelated contour edges.
Finally, consider the viewers of your graphics, and how they will
view them. If your graphics will be included in text that will end up as
a report, article, book, etc., your graphics should be the best you can
make them. Include plenty of rich detail in your graphics, with user-
friendly text put at appropriate places on the display. Simple graphics,
such as line plots, can be shrunk to quite a small size (somewhere between
postage stamp and postcard size) without loss of detail. Such shrinking
will enable you to put more graphics on a text page, or more explanatory
text. Try to put your graphic on the same page (or double page spread)
as the text that discusses it. Your readers won't be obliged to flip pages
or, worse, search through all the graphics collected as afterthoughts at
the end of the document.
If your graphic forms part of a personal presentation (the dreaded
overhead projector), a different set of considerations apply. Your graph-
ics should be big enough to be seen from the back of the room (is the text
big enough, are the lines thick enough?). You will be there to personally
explain the graphic's features and significance, but such an explanation
will be transient and linear; your audience won't be free to look at the
graphic at their own pace, or go back to it later on.
PostScript and Encapsulated PostScript
As mentioned above, the highest quality results will be achieved using
PostScript output, and printed on a PostScript printer. PostScript files
are text files containing page layout commands in Adobe's PostScript
language. Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) files are best for including
in other documents; they are single page PostScript files that include
information about how big the graphic is. If you print a graphic using
matlab's plain PostScript option ( print -dps file ), the first few lines
of file .ps will look like this: