[ncl-talk] saving high resolution plots for publications

Guido Cioni guidocioni at gmail.com
Sat Jul 8 16:47:54 MDT 2017

The problem is that Power Point does NOT support PDFs as images. If you are trying to import pdf into power point slides they will be converted into low-resolution PNGs (or even JPEGs), thus the blurry image. If you are trying to produce presentation with power point and PDFs images than, yes, the best option is to use high-resolution PNGs. But the problem is Power Point, not NCL :P 

Ideally the best way of producing presentation is to use, when possible, vector image data as the presentation will most likely be reproduced on a projector/screen that does not have the same resolution/aspect ratio of your laptop/computer. With PDF you are always on the safe side, as you know that images will be adapted to every situation. 


> Il giorno 08 lug 2017, alle ore 20:05, Barry Lynn <barry.h.lynn at gmail.com> ha scritto:
> Dear Guido:
> I appreciate that you're trying to explain this to us.
> I made a pdf and png of the same multi-paneled image.  When I blew-up the former, it became blurry.  
> When I blew up the latter, it maintained a very clear picture.
> This was important because when I imported the figures to my Powerpoint, the pdf became unreadable when I increased 
> its size.
> Also, I am using the Mac Book "Grab" software to cut out sections of the multi-panelled figures.  I have the same problem 
> when I cut out the panel from the PDF and enlarge it in powerpoint.
> Is it possible that you are technically correct, but not practically? 
> Or, maybe there is another way to import/cut out the pdf panels...?
> Barry
> On Fri, Jul 7, 2017 at 1:17 PM, Guido Cioni <guidocioni at gmail.com <mailto:guidocioni at gmail.com>> wrote:
> I’m going to stop you right there. :) 
> If you’re goal is to produce figures for publications then vector formats like PDF or EPS are preferable (and supported by NCL). They will scale perfectly regardless of a single-column/double-column layout and won’t pixelate. In fact, images that contain lines/points/shapes and combination of the latter ones should always be reproduced in vector format.
> You can use a raster format (PNG, JPEG) only if the image/data you’re publishing is already on raster format (e.g. photos taken with cameras, satellite pictures…). 
> Note that sometimes a PNG with a decent resolution for publication will be larger than a PDF with the same image. Please (!!) don’t use PNG for publications as long as they are not strictly necessary :) :) 
> Cheers
>> Il giorno 07 lug 2017, alle ore 10:51, Sri Nandini <snandini at marum.de <mailto:snandini at marum.de>> ha scritto:
>> Hello
>> Using NCL, i tried the 2 methods for saving my figures as png for publications.
>> 1)The default method   wks =  gsn_open_wks("png", "my figure")
>> And trying to save as 600dpi/optimal resolution
>> 2)  wks_type = "png"
>>    wks_type at wkWidth   =  2500
>>    wks_type at wkHeight  =  2500
>> wks =  gsn_open_wks("png", "my figure")
>> Surprisingly the method 1) yields better sharper resolution figure then method 2).
>> Could someone explain why?
>> Method 3) convert -density 300 (or 600) inputfile.png outfile.png yielded no difference when performed on output of method 1).
>> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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