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I want some high-quality 2D graphics produced by Mathematica in my paper.

My step-by-step operation as follows:

First I make the plot, for example,

Plot[x^3 + 2 x + 3, {x, -2, 3}]

Then I

  1. click the right mouse button
  2. copy the figure
  3. paste in my Word document

However, I discover that Word renders my graphic jaggedly.

So my question is: how can I extract a graphic from my notebook and transfer it to Word preserving full Mathematica quality?

enter image description here

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Works fine under OSX10.9.4, MaMaV10 and Word2011V14.4.3. Try ctrl v or/and Paste as "Picture" or Paste as "PDF". Same behavior? Then check this link. Alternatively you can use "Save Selection As" and choose an appropriate format for exporting/importing. –  Lou Jul 13 '14 at 3:42
select the graphics, go to file>save selection as. Change Files of type from PDF to any image format (I suggest PNG for better resolution) and save the picture. Now import (copy the picture file and paste in word), and I hope you will get a better resolution. –  Sumit Jul 13 '14 at 10:51
Here's a thread with a similar issue: mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/43378/… –  Gregory Rut Jul 13 '14 at 15:39
I'm going to second the suggestion of saving as PNG. There are many other ways to do it, but that's pretty straightforward and works fairly well. I believe if you copy-paste into word, it rasterizes the image poorly. –  Kellen Myers Sep 30 '14 at 9:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

If you need to achieve the best possible quality I strongly recommend against using the Clipboard for transferring graphics. Under Windows the clipboard will contain an out-of-date Windows Metafile which is generated with display resolution fidelity! This is the reason why you see jaggies.

Instead, I recommend to Export your graphics as EPS and then import it in your Word document. Note that most scientific journals recommend to provide graphics in the resolution-independent EPS format.

One possible difficulty with EPS is that it does not support transparency. If your graph contains transparent objects you cannot directly Export it as a correct EPS file from Mathematica. I have expanded this topic and provided workarounds in this answer: http://mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/32948/280

If you are not satisfied with EPS, I recommend you to Export your graphics as EMF from Mathematica. EMF supports transparency but it does not support many other features such as CapForm which EPS supports. So EPS is much more reliable than EMF when there is no transparent objects.

If you use VertexColors in your graph (which PDF format supports but Mathematica's Export still does not) or there are other reasons why EPS, EMF and PDF give unsatisfactory results you may consider Rasterizing your graph and Exporting it as PNG with high resolution. This is not always an easy task because Mathematica's Graphics by default is NOT resolution-independent: Ticks and TickLabels by default do not scale with the Graphics! It is huge headache for any Mathematica user for many years and there is still no easy workaround. In the most cases the best way is to Export as PDF from Mathematica and then export the graph from your favorite PDF renderer to PNG. Other workarounds include some pre-processing inside of Mathematica and/or using third-party software.

Here I'll collect some examples of the preprocessing approach which gives small file size without loose of quality (I will update the list with additional references when I'll have time):


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I think you lost a link :) –  xzczd Sep 30 '14 at 10:51
The link is added. –  Alexey Popkov Sep 30 '14 at 11:01
@AlexeyPopkov, transparent means Opacity less than 1? –  alancalvitti Oct 5 '14 at 17:38
@alancalvitti Yes, between 0 and 1. When Opacity is 1 or 0 it is treated in a special way AFAIK. –  Alexey Popkov Oct 6 '14 at 0:27

Use Bitmap to save. Also PlotStyle-> {Red,Thick} for thicker plot lines.

JaggedLine However am still unable to explain why the thin red line and thicker one are jagged ( display different thicknesses) above y = 22.

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Hi ! Can you elaborate a bit ? –  Sektor Sep 29 '14 at 20:32

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