I seem to have a problem with the export of plots to PDF when using the FrameTicks option.

Using the example from the documentation:

fticks2[min_, max_] := 
   Table[If[EvenQ[i], {i, i, {.1, 0}, Red}, {i, i, {.05, 0}, Blue}],{i,
   Ceiling[min], Floor[max], 1}]

pltest = Graphics[Circle[{0, 0}, 2], 
                  Frame -> True, 
                  FrameTicks -> fticks2];

Leads to the (expected) display on the screen:

enter image description here

However, exporting the graphics as a PDF file via

Export["test.pdf", pltest, "PDF"];

fails on Mac OS X 10.12.6 (MMA as it produces just the circle - no frame, no ticks, no tags:

enter image description here

Answers to similar versions of this question suggested setting

FrameTicks-> True

However, this doesn't work in this case, as setting FrameTicks to True overrides the fticks2 function.

The only workaround that I have found so far is to use the Rasterize-function, but this is a it clumsy.

Any ideas for a better fix?


I think Mathematica uses a different kernel to export graphics to PDF, and this kernel knows nothing about the function fticks2. Here are a couple workarounds.

Pure function

Instead of using a function with downvalues, you can use a pure function. For example:

ft = Function[
    {min, max},
        If[EvenQ[i],{i,i,{.1,0},Red}, {i,i,{.05,0},Blue}],
        {i, Ceiling[min], Floor[max]}

Here's a side-by-side comparison of fticks2 and ft:

    First @ ImportString @ ExportString[
        Graphics[Circle[{0,0}, 2], Frame->True, FrameTicks->fticks2],

    First @ ImportString @ ExportString[
        Graphics[Circle[{0,0}, 2], Frame->True, FrameTicks->ft],

enter image description here

Explicit ticks

The alternative is to feed the plot range to your ticks functions:

First @ ImportString @ ExportString[
    Graphics[Circle[{0,0}, 2], Frame->True, FrameTicks->{fticks2[-2,2], fticks2[-2,2]}],

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Ok, that works well. Now I have to learn about the difference between f[x_ y_]:=.... and f= Function[{x,y},....]. $\endgroup$ – Oliver Jennrich Mar 7 '18 at 15:58

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