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When saving a plot through right click ► Save Graphic As…, Mathematica lets me choose several options, including separate vector representations for areas with transparency and with smooth shading. In particular, in addition to using a rasterized or high-quality vector version, it has an option to "use most compatible vector representation".

How can I do this using Export? Saving through right click introduces weird glitches in the labels and I want to be able to save the graphics manually, but I end up with either ugly rasterized images or 80-megabyte monstrosities. The "most compatible vector representation" seems to have a great file size to quality ratio.

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  • $\begingroup$ The .NB files with implementations of the export options dialogs are located in the folder FileNameJoin[{$InstallationDirectory, "SystemFiles", "FrontEnd", "SystemResources"}]. For example, the "PDF Options" dialog is in the file ExportPDF.nb. You can open it in a text editor and inspect the implementation. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 27 '16 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ It seems that these Dialogs modify the ConversionOptions settings of the FrontEnd. According to the Documentation, before version 6 this option was recognized by Export, but currently it is obsolete and Export doesn't accept it anymore. So now it is an undocumented FrontEnd option. $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 27 '16 at 7:40
  • $\begingroup$ Related: "How to set ExportOptions for custom HTML exports." $\endgroup$ – Alexey Popkov Apr 27 '16 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexeyPopkov Thanks a lot, this definitely answers my question (although leaves me a bit disappointed!) so feel free to post it as an answer. $\endgroup$ – T.J. Apr 27 '16 at 10:55
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The .NB files with implementations of the FrontEnd export options Dialogs are located in the folder

FileNameJoin[{$InstallationDirectory, "SystemFiles", "FrontEnd", "SystemResources"}]

For example, the "PDF Options" Dialog is in the file "ExportPDF.nb". You can open it with a text editor and inspect the implementation.

From the internals of the "ExportPDF.nb" file I conclude that this Dialog modifies the ConversionOptions settings of the FrontEnd. According to the Documentation‌​, before version 6 this option was recognized by Export but currently it is obsolete, and Export doesn't accept it anymore. So now it is an undocumented FrontEnd option.

However these Q&A give a hope that Export and the Save Graphic As… FrontEnd token aren't independent from each other and there may exist a way to pass some of the undocumented ConversionOptions suboptions to Export. Unfortunately at the moment I can't say anything more encouraging: all this stuff is a truly dark area...

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