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st: Printing graphs to pdf under program control

From   Ian Watson <>
To   statalist <>
Subject   st: Printing graphs to pdf under program control
Date   Wed, 13 Oct 2004 11:56:44 +1000

Dear statalist,

  Has anyone had success passing a filename under program control to
  Acrobat Distiller on a Windows platform?

  I wish to print my graph to a pdf file, but graph export (to pdf) is
  not available under Windows. I can of course print to Acrobat
  Distiller manually. But what I want to do is automate the procedure
  inside a do file. At present the commands:

  graph use mygraphfile
  graph print, logo(off) lm(0) tm(0)

  work successfully, and provided I have set Acrobat Distiller as my
  default printer, the dialogue box for Acrobat Distiller comes up and
  I can type the filename for the PDF file in. However, I want to
  automate this by passing the filename to Distiller.

  I have tried the unix approach:

  printer define prn ps "mypdf_filename"

  but this doesn't work under Windows ("unrecognised command: printer").

  I notice that there seems to be a default value in the Distiller
  dialogue box ("stata graph.pdf") but I am unsure if this is Distiller
  behaviour, or something that Stata has sent to Distiller. If the
  latter, then presumably there is a hook somewhere for sending one's
  own choice of filename.

  Finally, not all of the print graphic controls from the dialogue box
  (Graphic Preferences - Printer) appear to be available in syntax, or
  have I overlooked something? In particular, I notice missing are the
  color mapping options, and the scaling options.

  Any advice on these matters would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,

Ian Watson
Senior Researcher
University of Sydney
NSW 2006

Phone: 02 9351 5622
  Fax: 02 9351 5615


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