Mathematica Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Mathematica. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I copy a cells by selecting them from the collapse bars on the right, then using the context menu option "Copy", the pasted image of plots is not anti-aliased and in general the text seems to have bad styling compared to a screen. For example, here is a plot which is copied using the built-in copy command:

Manipulate[Plot[Cos[a x], {x, 0, 3 \[Pi]}], {a, 1, 10, 0.3}]

copied plot

and here is a screen shot of the same command and plot:

enter image description here

As you can see the screen shot looks a lot better. For example, compare the graphical quality of the buttons in the animation panel.

share|improve this question
Again, post code as code, not just images. Otherwise trying to reproduce your input is painful. – Yves Klett Oct 29 '13 at 8:20
I have done this (see top of post) – Tyler Durden Oct 29 '13 at 16:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The output is being copied as a metafile. To get the nice anti-aliased image, use Copy As Bitmap on the Edit menu.

share|improve this answer
I can confirm that this works and is good as a screenshot. Is there a way to do this programmatically using a function as opposed to a menu operation? – Tyler Durden Oct 29 '13 at 16:36
@TylerDurden, You could use CopyToClipboard[Rasterize[...]]. – Simon Woods Oct 29 '13 at 16:53

I have already answered this question in

I reproduce my answer here:

The buttons are rendered by operating system (OS) and FrontEnd actually knows almost nothing about it. When you copy the graphics or Export it to EMF or PDF the buttons are not rendered by OS but are replaced with some predefined vector figures by the FrontEnd (probably they are loaded from the file "" in the directory "$InstallationDirectory\SystemFiles\FrontEnd\TextResources"). These figures are less attractive than what OS shows. The only way to get the on-screen appearance is to Rasterize the graphics (you can also select the Cell and then use the Cell :: ConvertTo :: Bitmap menu command). Then you can copy it from the Notebook or (much better) Export it as raster image and then import this image into another program.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.