New version of xfig

1/12/2004

Because of some issues with printing and handling nonstandard paper sizes, I had to switch to a newer version of xfig.

There are several cosmetic differences, such as many buttons having been moved to menus, an annoying startup graphic, etc. But the most important difference is in producing files which are to be included in LaTeX documents.

The recommended procedure used to be to export the figure to a PostScript (.ps) file. This created a file with the graphics centered on a letter-size page, with the origin at the lower left corner. As a consequence, one had to play around with various shifts so the picture showed up in the right place in the LaTeX document.

This will not work with the new xfig. The PostScript file now contains new commands which - to make a long story short - make the graphics disappear in the final LaTeX file...

The good news is that the default export format, EPS or encapsulated PostScript, has been fixed and should now be used instead (it caused problems before). So export the figure to an EPS file, use \includegraphics{file.eps} in LaTeX, and everything will be fine. A side effect of this is that the .eps file will have the natural size ("bounding box") of the figure, rather than an entire 8.5x11 page. This means that it is likely to show up more or less where you want it without the large shifts which were needed before. So to position the new .eps files, start with \put(0,0){\includegraphics{file.eps}} and make minor adjustments.

EPS files will also work with the older \epsfbox command from the "epsf" package, but we are encouraging everyone to start using the core LaTeX "graphicx" package and its \includegraphics command.

Note that "standalone" xfig drawings which are - say - meant to be converted to PDF, should still be exported in the normal PS format. The above changes apply only to figures being included in other documents.