Printing Figure to PDF produces bitmap instead of vector

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I've three figures that I save to a pdf for inclusion in my report. For this i user: print(h,'-dpdf',filename); where h is the handle of the figure. All figures are plotted with the plot command, although the first image is just a combination of lines. While the other two are actually scatterplots, but plotted with the plot command for speed. Now with the print command the first figure is correctly saved as a a vector image, while the other two are bitmaps.
How is this possible? And how can I prevent this/correct this?

Accepted Answer

Jan on 8 Mar 2011
Check the 'Renderer' property of the figures: While figures drawn by the 'Painters' renderer are vector plots in the exported PDF, with 'OpenGL' and 'ZBuffer' the PDF contains bitmap pictures of the screen output.
Either you have defined the renderer manually, or it was set automatically by Matlab, if the 'RendererMode' of the figure is 'auto'.
Solution: Set the renderer manually to 'Painters'.
neuromechanist on 1 Sep 2017
Edited: neuromechanist on 1 Sep 2017
But the point is graphics provided by Painters is nothing that can be compared to OpenGL rendering. I am back to OpenGL until I need to modify a figure in Vector environment. But for presenting figures AsIs, Painters is not a good choice.

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More Answers (2)

Matlabber 1.0
Matlabber 1.0 on 6 Mar 2018
Edited: Matlabber 1.0 on 6 Mar 2018
in case you are using surf() plots, make sure you don't use too many points. the following code shows how surf makes the saved pdf become a bitmap aboe 180x180 points:
function TestVectorGraph
for k=178:185
anybody knows more about this? i guess it's for file size reasons.
  1 Comment
Katrina Deane
Katrina Deane on 8 Jun 2019
Edited: Katrina Deane on 8 Jun 2019
Hi there,
I came here for this exact reason so thank you!
I just tried Jan's solution above and it seems that manually changing the renderer to Painters overrides this so that it's vector.
I'm guessing you're right about size reasons, because now my design software is having difficultly handling so many objects.

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Aleksey Dyskin
Aleksey Dyskin on 11 Sep 2018
Hi Jan,
despite the fact that I use
to set the renderer, when I print the figure to PDF, it still remains in bitmap... Any ideas of what can be a reason for it? Thank you!
  1 Comment
Johnny Zheng
Johnny Zheng on 21 Sep 2020
Good idea! Don't know if MATLAB developer will see this Q&A.

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