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William Chia-Wei Cheng

Tgif FAQ - Problems Installing the LaTeX Equation Package

I would like to use Latex equations in Tgif figures. Could you tell me the procedure to do this (step by step if it is possible)?
Since tgif-4.1.16, the standard distribution of tgif comes with 4 LaTeX equation symbol files:
In order to use eq4.sym, in addtion to latex and dvips, you need:

  • pstoepsi - to convert a PS (postscript) file generated by dvips to an EPSI (encapsulated postscript file with a preview bitmap) file
  • netpbm - used by pstoepsi to convert a PBM file to a preview bitmap for the final EPSI file
  • ghostscript - used by pstoepsi to render a PS file into a PBM file

Once you have these tools properly installed, you can simply instantiate eq4.sym and change the value of the eq= attribute. If you have a large equation, you can even right-click on the equation object, select Edit Attribute in Editor, and select eq= and edit the equation in an editor of your choice (you can use the Tgif.Editor X default to select your editor).

Just double-click the equation object and tgif will run the following commands:

    latex <tmpfile>
    dvips -N -n 1 -o <tmpfile>.ps <tmpfile>
    pstoepsi <tmpfile>.ps <tmpfile>.eps
where <tmpfile> is a temporary file generated by tgif (usually in /tmp and the file name starts with Tgif).

This should work if everything is installed properly. In case it does not work, you will get an error messagebox. Do not close the box. Change directory into /tmp and look for the latest files that start with Tgif and end in .tex and copy it. Then run the above commands manually to debug the problem. For example, you can do:

    cd /tmp
    ls -lrt Tgif*

    -rw-r--r--   1 william     230 Mar 22 11:27 TgifmTaOdC.tex
    -rw-r--r--   1 william    4636 Mar 22 11:27 TgifmTaOdC.log
    -rw-r--r--   1 william     324 Mar 22 11:27 TgifmTaOdC.dvi
    -rw-r--r--   1 william       8 Mar 22 11:27 TgifmTaOdC.aux
    -rw-r--r--   1 william   18561 Mar 22 11:27
    -rw-r--r--   1 william   18561 Mar 22 11:27 TgifmTaOdC.eps
(Please note that in the above listing, and TgifmTaOdC.eps have the same file size, this means that pstoepsi did not work.)
    cp TgifmTaOdC.tex foo.tex
    latex foo
    dvips -N -n 1 -o foo
    pstoepsi foo.eps
    more foo.eps
At this point, you should see that the first few lines of foo.eps look like:
    %!PS-Adobe-2.0 EPSF-1.2
    %%BoundingBox: 258 634 354 653
    %%BeginPreview: 97 20 1 20
    % 00000000000000000000000e00
    % ...
    % 00000000000000000003c00000
These lines are added by pstoepsi. The numbers in the %%BoundingBox: and %%BeginPreview: depends on your equation and the PS-Adobe and EPSF versions in the first line may vary depending on your setup.

If you get errors when you run latex, dvips, or pstoepsi manually, these's someothing wrong with the setup of these tools. If the all do the right thing but tgif still show errors, please send e-mail to me!

eq4-2x.sym can produce a higher (2x) resolution preview bitmap, but you will need the special netpbm-20may1999 version of netpbm. It may not work with a newer version of netpbm.

eq4-ps2epsi.sym is not recommanded if you are running a version of tgif before 4.1.43. If you are running version 4.1.43 or later, and your primary use is to generate PS/EPS/PDF file, then eq4-ps2epsi.sym should be the preferred.

eq4-epstool.sym is like eq4.sym but uses epstool instead.

In the above answer, what do you mean by instantiate eq4.sym and change the value of the eq= attribute? How can I create an equation object?
If you put eq4.sym in /home/yourself/lib/tgif/latex, you can add the following lines to your ~/.Xdefaults file:
    Tgif.MaxDomains:    1
    Tgif.DomainPath0:   LaTeX:.:/home/yourself/lib/tgif/latex
    Tgif.DefaultDomain: 0
The above says that you have 1 domain. Domain number 0 is called LaTeX, and tgif should look for *.sym files in the current directory and then the /home/yourself/lib/tgif/latex directory. When tgif starts, the default domain should be domain number 0.

When you run tgif, you can select Instantiate from the Special Menu (or press <Cntrl>i), you should see eq4.sym. Double-click it and tgif will ask you to click on the drawing area to place it. After you have placed it, you have instantiated an eq4 symbol and the instantiation is called an eq4 object (or the LaTeX equation object). Now you can go into edit text mode (or press <Cntrl>w) and click anywhere inside the eq= attribute to edit the equation.

I followed the instructions in the LaTeX Equation Package on the Tgif Goodies Page and got all kinds of error. What's wrong?
If you are running gs5.10 and if you get pstoepsi.tar.Z from or as indicated in README.latex in the LaTeX Equation Package, you may have problems.

This is because pstoepsi.tar.Z is the ``orignal'' pstoepsi. I don't even know who wrote it originally. It only works with old versions of ghostscript.

Q: The Makefile for pbmtoepsi has the line: PBM_ROOT=/where_the_root_of_pbmplus_is but I've no idea what pbmplus is or where to find it.

Netpbm used to be known as pbmplus. Pbmplus doesn't come with pbmtoepsi. At the time the original pstoepsi was released, netpbm did not exist, so I guess the author gave the instruction mainly for pbmplus.

Netpbm-1mar1994 comes with pbmtoepsi. Therefore, if you have netpbm-1mar1994 and the shell script in the pstoepsi package, you don't need the rest of the files in the pstoepsi package. There are minor problems with netpbm-1mar1994 (such as missing symbolic links). So I made some minor changes and call it netpbm-15nov1997. On tgif's tools page, I have links to all of this. Basically, if you have gs5.10, you need to get netpbm-15nov1997, pstoepsi shell script, and make modifications to the shell script according to tgif's home page.

Q: The pstoepsi shell script itself seems to want a bunch of strange stuff. It wants some file called which I don't seem to have from my gs5.10 installation, but have from an old gs3.33 installation, so I set it to use that.

Gs5.10 doesn't have because it can generate ppm files all by itself! The old pstoepsi only knows about, so it can't work with gs5.10. If you get the pstoepsi shell script from tgif's home page, it will work with the new gs and without! In this case, it doesn't matter what you set PSTOPPM to.

Q: It wants to know the location of something called rasttopnm, which I've never heard of and don't seem to have. It doesn't seem to be trying to use this though.

It's not used in pstoepsi. In the original pstoepsi package, there's a program called pstorast which uses rasttopnm. Therefore, it doesn't matter what you set RASTTOPNM to.

Q: This is what happens when I run pstoepsi:

{bluemoon:william}[1] pstoepsi Tgifa00377.epsi
Usage: (file) ppmNrun
    converts to file.ppm (single page),
    or file.1ppm, file.2ppm, ... (multi page).
    N is # of bits per pixel (1, 8, or 24).
Examples: (golfer) ppm1run ..or.. (escher) ppm8run
Optional commands you can give first:
    horiz_DPI vert_DPI ppmsetdensity
    horiz_inches vert_inches ppmsetpagesize
    (dirname/) ppmsetprefix
    page_num ppmsetfirstpagenumber
GS>Writing Tgifa00377.ppm
Error: /undefined in writeppmfile
Operand stack:
    --nostringval-- --nostringval--
Execution stack:

The problem here is with "Error: /undefined in writeppmfile". Gs5.10 does not support "writeppmfile" any more. Since you are running the original pstoepsi which doesn't know about the new ghostscript, it won't work! The pstoepsi shell script on tgif's home page should work.

I got everything working now. How do I get rid of the actual LaTeX text?
There are a couple of ways. One way is to select Move/Justify An Attribute from the Attribute submenu of the Special Menu. When the cursor changes, drag the left mouse button (Btn1) and select the eq= attribute. When the cursor changes again, click the right mouse button (Btn3) to hide the eq= attribute.

Alternatively, you can add the following X resource:

    Tgif.ShortCuts: !<Key>T:ToggleNamedAttrShown(eq=)
This X resource bind the <SHIFT>t key in tgif to the action of ToggleNamedAttrShown with an argument of eq=. So, when you press <SHIFT>t in tgif (when the tgif drawing mode is not in the draw text mode), the visibility of the eq= attribute of the selected will be toggled.
I am getting a black box when I double-click an equation object. What should I do to fix this?
For the "eq4*.sym" symbols that used the "convert" command of ImageMagick, at some point, these commands stopped working. Here are the replacements that would work with the newer version of "convert":