It seems that Mathematica implements the processing of labels quite different for different plot-functions.

The good -> Plot[]:

l1 = GraphPlot[Table[i -> 1, {i, 0, 1}]]
TPlot = Plot[{Cos[x], Sin[x]}, {x, 0, 1}, ImageSize -> 280, PlotLabel -> (l1), Frame -> True, FrameLabel -> ({l1, l1})]
Export[FileNameJoin[{NotebookDirectory[], "2017_10_13_Test_Density_Plot.pdf"}], TPlot]

enter image description here

This is quite nice. The labels are graphic objects and if exported as .pdf/.svg, will scale with the image.

The strange -> DensityPlot[], ParametricPlot[],...:

l1 = GraphPlot[Table[i -> 1, {i, 0, 1}]]
TPlot = ListDensityPlot[Table[{Cos[x], Sin[y]}, {x, 0, 1}, {y, 0, 1}], ImageSize -> 280, PlotLabel -> (l1), FrameLabel -> ({l1, l1})]
Export[FileNameJoin[{NotebookDirectory[],"2017_10_13_Test_Density_Plot.pdf"}], TPlot]

enter image description here

As you can see the label is unnecessary pixelated. This is especially strange if one has a look at the plot object itself. As the label is saved as an graphic object. If this plot is to be printed, this will look rather ugly.

Is there someway to avoid the rasterisation or to control it independent from the plot?

What is this all about? There exist a wonderful convenient tool called MaTeX[] to prepare images for publication using LaTeX. See a previous discussion at https://github.com/szhorvat/MaTeX/issues/14.

Update: The comments made by @CarlWoll and by @egweneseda together with the answers from the github link solve my problem.

Pixelated Presentation in Mathematica ( under macOS (10.12.6):

I took screenshots of the situation without changes to Mathematica settings (first image) and with changes (second image)


as suggest by @CarlWoll.

Screenshot without Antialiasing Screenshot with Antialiasing

Exporting as .pdf:

Here I fooled myself! The comment by @egwenesedai did the work to clear things up. My first try has been exporting the picture via "File->Save Selection As->PDF" which, without Antialiasing, produces a pixelated result. Further I expected that Export["path/file.pdf","PDF"] and Export["path/file.pdf","PDF",ImageResolution -> 600] give a somwhat similar result as is the case for Plot[], ListPlot[] ..., but not for DensityPlot[], ListDensityPlot[]. Even using

Export["path/file.pdf",ImageResolution -> 600,"AllowRasterization"->False] 

does not override the imperative by "ImageResolution" to rasterise. (Actually I can not make this statement in general, sometimes it does help. I simply can not see a clear pattern.) Simply discarding the "ImageResolution" option completely gives a nice result while exporting.

Zoomed, exported, pdf cut-out

The plots shown are produces with MaTeX[]. For illustration the following alternative, can be used:

text = First[First[ImportString[ExportString[Style["Wolfram", Italic, FontSize -> 12, FontFamily -> "Times"],"PDF"], "PDF", "TextMode" -> "Outlines"]]];
l1 = Graphics[text, ImageSize -> {53.07820672478207`, 16.338709838107096`}, 
   BaselinePosition -> Scaled[0.32439307852814453`], ImageSize -> {54.`, 17.`}, PlotRange -> {{0.`, 53.08`}, {0.`, 16.34`}}, AspectRatio -> Automatic];
   TPlot = ListDensityPlot[Table[{Cos[x], Sin[y]}, {x, 0, 1, 0.01}, {y, 0, 1, 0.01}], PlotLabel -> (l1), FrameTicks -> {{With[{ticks = 10 Range[0, 10]}, Thread[{ticks, l1}]], None}, {With[{ticks = 0.4 Range[0, 10]}, Thread[{ticks, l1}]], None}}, FrameLabel -> ({l1, l1}), InterpolationOrder -> 2, PlotRange -> {0, 1}]


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On macos, the default is vector form. You may try adding "AllowRasterization" -> False like this: Export[FileNameJoin[{NotebookDirectory[], "2017_10_13_Test_Density_Plot.pdf"}], TPlot, "AllowRasterization" -> False] to disable rasterization. See the "Options" section at reference.wolfram.com/language/ref/format/PDF.html $\endgroup$ – egwene sedai Oct 12 '17 at 19:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you have the hardware antialiasing quality set to? You can check in preferences, or do CurrentValue[$FrontEnd, {RenderingOptions, "HardwareAntialiasingQuality"}]. If it isn't 1, set it to 1 and see if the graphic looks better. Also, I don't think this setting affects pdf export. Did you actually export the density plot and observe pixelation issues? $\endgroup$ – Carl Woll Oct 12 '17 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you both very much. @CarlWoll you are correct. I missed that using Export[] without options produces a good result. In my final test setup I used a combination with ImageResolution->Automatic. $\endgroup$ – Freeman Oct 22 '17 at 23:12

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