graphics : SWP6 vs LyX

pviton's picture

Graphics handling : SWP6 vs LyX

I experimented by importing a wmf and an
svg graphic into both LyX (2.2 beta)
and SWP6 (6.0.11), both on Windows.
Note that LyX is available for Windows,
the Mac and Linux, and is supposed to
work the same way for all of them,
though I've no way of testing that.
My understanding is that wmf support
in SWP6 is for Windows only.

--- In LyX, graphics handling for
both image types works out-of-the-box.
In SWP6, users need to install wmf
handlers by hand, and pdf preview for
svg doesn't work at all (though on-screen
display works perfectly). The detailed
comments below are based on the
imported wmf image.

--- In both systems, there is a slight
delay while conversion takes place. In SWP6
import requires several DOS sessions
(3 for each wmf graphic) that open and close
on screen. In LyX it's all behind-the-scenes,

--- For wmf files, *any* changes (even to
imported images) require a repeat of the
DOS sessions. This appears clumsy, even
if the sessions go by relatively
quickly. This does not happen in LyX.

--- In LyX you cannot resize a graphic
by dragging, as you can in SWP6.

--- In Lyx, if you scale up a graphic
you can lose a lot of definition
(screen-display only). In SWP6, the
on-screen scaling preserves more of the
clarity of the image. PDF output
quality (when available, as it isn't
for SWP6/svg) was comparable for
both systems.

--- In LyX, document-view and output
(pdf) scaling are independent. Not
in SWP6.

--- SWP6 lacks the SWP55 ability to
"iconify" a graphic for on-screen
display. (That was my usual and
preferred SWP55 way, since it
maximizes the use of screen
real-estate). LyX can do this.

--- LyX can rotate graphics in the
on-screen document. In SWP6, rotation
applies only to the pdf output, so
it's not entirely clear, as you edit,
what you may have done to your image.

--- LyX can clip an image. SWP6
(unlike SWP55) cannot. I found this
useful, for example, when trying to
squeeze an image onto a Beamer slide.

--- SWP6 (unlike SWP55) lacks the ability
to proportionately scale an entire image
("preserve aspect ratio") by a percentage.
(Again, that was the usual way I handled
graphics in SWP55). LyX can do this.

--- Adobe Illustrator (.ai) is a major
graphics format that SWP6 cannot open.
SWP55 and LyX can. "Creating Documents"
justifies SWP6's not being able to open
all graphics formats supported by
SWP5 on the grounds that they've not
had any serious long-term staying power;
I agree with this, but ai format isn't
one of those formats.

--- The issue mentioned above of the
(multiple) DOS sessions for importing
and changing wmf files in SWP6 does not
apply to (at least) bmp and jpg images,
though it does for eps and gif.
(Other graphics formats untested).