XCrySDen --
(X-Window) CRYstalline Structures and DENsities

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Printing HOWTO

Table of Contents

Howto print-to-file in PNG/JPG/GIF/... formats

Useful hints for printing

How to create a Vectorial EPS

Howto print-to-file in PNG/JPG/GIF/... formats

XCrySDen can print the content (i.e. crystal structure) displayed in the main window either in EPS formatted or PPM formatted file. However it is possible to use some converting program, that converts the PPM (or EPS) format to several different graphics formats, such as PNG/JPG/GIF/TIFF. The convert program of ImageMagick package is very suitable for this purpose. In order to use the image converting program in XCrySDen, one should specify such a program in the ~/.xcrysden/custom-definitions file. Here is an example:

# ------------------------------------------------------------------------
# An image conversion program: we need PPM to PNG/JPG/GIF/... conversion.
# The "convert" program of ImageMagick (http://www.imagemagick.org/) is
# a convinient choice.
# 
# It is possible to specify the command-line options. For example:
#
# set xcMisc(ImageMagick.convert) "/usr/bin/convert \
#                             -quality 90 -border 3x3 -bordercolor black"
# 
# Instead one can also store the command line options for convert
# program into the xcMisc(ImageMagick.convertOptions) variable:
#
# set xcMisc(ImageMagick.convertOptions) "-quality 90 -antialias \
#                             -blur 1x1 -trim -bordercolor white \
#                             -border 20x20 -bordercolor black -border 3x3"
# ------------------------------------------------------------------------

set xcMisc(ImageMagick.convert) /usr/bin/convert 

set xcMisc(ImageMagick.convertOptions) "-quality 90 -antialias \
                             -blur 1x1 -trim -bordercolor white \
                             -border 20x20 -bordercolor black -border 3x3"
The setting of the xcMisc(ImageMagick.convert) variable will enable to print into all graphics formats supported by the ImageMagick convert program.

Useful hints for printing

Here the term printing means "printing to a file". Before printing the content (i.e. crystal structure) displayed in XCrySDen main window, it is useful to perform the following steps:
  1. Change the background according to your needs. Background can be changed in the Palette menu, i.e., an icon located on the left of the File menu.
     
  2. XCrySDen print is, technically speaking, a screen dump, and therefore the resulting resolution is around 75 dpi. This is far from sufficient for a paper-print. However in your document the figure will probably be only few centimeters large, therefore you can do the following trick: the main window of XCrySDen should be maximized, and the displayed crystal structure enlarged as much as possible (use [Zoom +] button). By doing this you can achieve the resolution larger than 300 dpi in the document figure.
     
  3. Increase the tessellation factor (a value around 40 would be appropriate). The tessellation factor can be modified via the Modify-->Tessellation Factor menu.
     
  4. Turn on the anti-aliasing via the Display-->Anti-aliasing menu. The anti-aliasing can be time depending, and can in worse cases take up to several minutes. However it is worth to wait as the printing quality will be much superior.
     
  5. Now you can print via the File --> Print menu.
     

How to create a Vectorial EPS

Thanks to GL2PS library, XCrySDen can produce a vectorial EPS. This works very reasonable for Lighting-Off display-modes (read here about the Lighting-Off and Lighting-On modes). When printing to EPS file a window will appear, where you specify different EPS printing parameters. To produce a vectorial EPS, the Type of Postscript flag should be set to VECTORIAL. For the description of other entries see the GL2PS documentation.

BEWARE: making the vectorial EPS in Lighting-On mode can take quite a bit of time, consume a lot of memory and produce the files as large as several 100MB. But the resulting EPS is excellent. Then you can do a 10m x 10m figure without seing any aliasing.


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This document was last modified on Wed Oct 7 16:08:45 CEST 2015