I would like to export a Mathematica graph as PDF, then use Adobe Illustrator to manipulate it. So, I create the graph, and export it:

lSine = Table[{x, Sin[x]}, {x, 0, 2 Pi}];
g1 = ListPlot[lSine, Joined -> True,  PlotMarkers -> {"\[FilledUpTriangle]", 14}]
Export["plotMarkers.pdf", g1]

The graph looks like this in Mathematica:

enter image description here

However, when I open the PDF in illustrator, I get the following:

enter image description here

And the triangle markers have been replaced by a font called 'Myriad Pro', which looks terrible.

I would like to export the file in PDF format, but stop Illustrator from thinking that the markers are fonts. Does anyone know how to do this?

I have seen this question, which tackles the somewhat similar issue, but for an actual font. However, I can't see anything exactly analogous to this issue. Note: I could export the file as a JPG and avoid this issue, but I want to keep the PDF quality.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The default PlotMarkers are font glyphs. See (2216). Try adding "TextMode"->"Outlines" to Export and see if that solves it. Another, I would argue better, solution is to use non-glyph markers, e.g. (84857). $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Mar 15, 2016 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Mr.Wizard Thanks for your message. Using "TextMode"->"Outlines" didn't work, but using non-glyph markers did. Thanks very much! Best, Ben $\endgroup$
    – ben18785
    Mar 15, 2016 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


By default plot markers are glyphs from a Mathematica font:

{{"\[FilledCircle]", 8.96}, {"\[FilledSquare]", 8.96}, {"\[FilledDiamond]", 
  10.88}, {"\[FilledUpTriangle]", 10.24}, {"\[FilledDownTriangle]", 
  10.24}, {"\[EmptyCircle]", 10.24}, {"\[EmptySquare]", 10.24}, {"\[EmptyDiamond]", 
  10.24}, {"\[EmptyUpTriangle]", 11.136}, {"\[EmptyDownTriangle]", 11.136}}

Illustrator can't recognize this font and replaces it with a "similar" font during import. For producing publication-quality graphs it is highly recommended don't use glyph-based plot markers because Mathematica can't position them exactly. The best is to use primitive-based custom plot markers and there is a convenient package for this:

Another possibility is to define primitive-based plot markers yourself, for example as shown in this answer.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your comment under my answer., now I remember I saw those posts before. +1 $\endgroup$ Mar 16, 2016 at 3:51

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