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st: transparent background with graph for powerpoint

From   Jacob Wegelin <>
Subject   st: transparent background with graph for powerpoint
Date   Sun, 12 Apr 2009 14:59:26 -0400

Consider a graph created in Stata on a MacBook Pro. Is there a way to
put this graph into Powerpoint so that the Powerpoint background (a
texture, an image, a color, etc.) shows through?

sysuse auto, clear
twoway (scatter price mpg), aspectratio(1) graphregion(color(none))
graph export junk.pdf, replace
graph export junk.eps, replace
graph export junk.tif, replace

Within Powerpoint, when I Insert -> Picture and then insert either
junk.eps or junk.tif, the plot covers up ("whites out") the background
texture all the way through the outer graph region.  When I insert
junk.pdf, only the inner plot region whites out the texture. Thus none
of these approaches allows the background to show through the
"non-inked" portions of the plot. (And for display, one cannot export
directly to pdf on a Mac because smooth curves are somehow corrupted
in the export process.)

A thread from 2004 (see below) suggests that this might be a Macintosh
problem; if I did this on a PC would the graph be transparent? But
better yet: Is there a way to do this on a Mac?

Thanks for any insight

Jacob A. Wegelin
Assistant Professor
Department of Biostatistics
Virginia Commonwealth University
730 East Broad Street Room 3006
P. O. Box 980032
Richmond VA 23298-0032

From	  Fredrik Wallenberg <>
Subject	  Re: RE: st: Re: Transparent background in graphics
Date	  Thu, 20 May 2004 10:54:14 -0700
 Thank you, that is excellent news. As I said earlier, it is quite easy
to edit out the background of an eps or pdf file using Adobe
Illustrator, so at least that is a workaround for now. The PDF format
does support transparency, so that should work. However, as long as
you are relying on Apple's built in "print-to-pdf" functionality you
will be stuck with a white background (since the graphic is actually
printed onto a white "paper"). If you actually implement a true "save
as pdf" functionality into Stata you should be fine.
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