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I want to use Matex for the figures in my plots which I eventually would like to use in overleaf. I create a plot and use Matex in it and right click on it to save as pdf. I then use this pdf in overleaf. So, when I compile the latex file and download the pdf, the Matex font looks rather shabby compared to other text on the plot (such as numbers on axes for which I didn't use mathematica) when I do not zoom in.

enter image description here.

The font on latex can be seen on the description of the figure. The Matex font looks spotty with kinda white gaps in it. The problem with this is that when I print the file onto paper, the font doesn't look good.

I don't think the problem is resolution since when I zoom into the pdf file, I get a very sharp Matex font. Does anyone know what's going on? enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ what version of Matex? Which version of Mathematica? does this happen only when you use overleaf? $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Nov 28, 2023 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Nasser Hi, I'm using the latest version of Matex. I'm having the same problem with versions 12.2 and 13.3 of mathematica. $\endgroup$
    – Razor
    Nov 28, 2023 at 6:01
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    $\begingroup$ Which PDF reader are you using when printing? Try opening your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader and print from there. However, there might also be some issues in how you include your figure in $\TeX$. $\endgroup$
    – Domen
    Nov 28, 2023 at 7:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Razor, I had the same problem a few months ago when some of the vector images in my PDF were printed with low resolution. Apparently, it has to do with transparency not being handled correctly in some cases/software, forcing the image to get rasterized before printing. $\endgroup$
    – Domen
    Nov 28, 2023 at 8:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Razor That's often an issue with the printing method. Modern laser printers have very high resolutions. With a good printer, and the appropriate driver (can you use a PostScript driver?) it should print fine. I know what you mean BTW and I've seen bad print output as well. Yes, this is annoying. My point is that it's fixable, so don't give up ... $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Nov 28, 2023 at 9:28

1 Answer 1

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A solution without a satisfactory explanation

Open your PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader and print it from there.


I've had the same issue a while ago, when some of the images, created with python (matplotlib) and subsequently inserted into a $\LaTeX$ document, made the whole page in which they appeared become rasterized when printed. I have not managed to find a proper explanation, but it likely has to do something with the transparency layers. However, this rasterization occurred only if I was using a built-in browser PDF reader or Foxit PDF Reader. Using Adobe Acrobat Reader, the print was fine.

There are a few questions on TeX StackExchange somehow related to this issue:

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  • $\begingroup$ I always use adobe PDF reader. Builtin browser readers are not as good at all. OK for browsing. But nothing else. Another problem is with latex animate package. The animation in the PDF do not run when viewed in browser PDF reader, but works fine when the PDF is downloaded and opened using Adobe PDF reader directly on the PC. $\endgroup$
    – Nasser
    Nov 28, 2023 at 19:08

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