Stata graphs and pdf go together like mustard and ice cream
| Gabriel |
[Update, see this follow-up post where I offer a solution]
[Update 2, this issue is fixed as of Stata 11.2 (3/30/11), “graph export foo.pdf” now works great on Macs]
I was embedding Stata graphs in Lyx and I noticed that the graphs came out kind of fug, with a lot of gratuitous jaggedness. I experimented with it a little and I realized that the problem was that I was having Stata save the graphs as pdf and for some reason it doesn’t do it very well. The top half of this image is part of my graph when I saved it as eps and the bottom half is saved as pdf. (both versions are zoomed in to 400% but you can see it even at 100%).
I really don’t understand why the pdf looks so fug. It’s not fuzzy or jaggy so it’s clearly a vector-graphic not a bitmap, it’s just a vector graphic with very few nodes and gratuitous line thickness. As far as I can tell this is a problem with Stata, not OS X, because if I have Stata create an eps and then use Preview (or for that matter, Lyx/LaTeX) to convert it to pdf, the results look beautiful. Likewise I’ve always been impressed with the deep integration of pdf into OS X. In any case, in the future I’m doing all my Stata graphs as eps even though in some ways pdf is more convenient (such as native integration with “quick look”).