Opened 6 years ago

Closed 5 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

#446 closed defect (fixed)

Saving plot as PGF (not PDF!) format throws error

Reported by: smk78 Owned by:
Priority: critical Milestone: SasView 4.2.0
Component: SasView Keywords:
Cc: Work Package: SasView Bug Fixing


Win 7 Version 3.1.0 Builds 121 & 124 onwards

Attempting to save a plot as PGF (Progressive Graphics File) format results in a file header being created (see attachment) but then the operation fails nicely with the popup message:

Matplotlib backend_wx error. Error starting process xelatex

NB: This needs testing by someone who has Latex installed.

Attachments (1)

image.pgf (861 bytes) - added by smk78 6 years ago.
Example PGF file header that is created

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (10)

Changed 6 years ago by smk78

Example PGF file header that is created

comment:1 Changed 5 years ago by krzywon

Here is some documentation on using tex within matplotlib.

A few exceprts from the site that might be relevant:

  • Matplotlib’s LaTeX support requires a working LaTeX installation, dvipng (which may be included with your LaTeX installation), and Ghostscript (GPL Ghostscript 8.60 or later is recommended).
  • The LaTeX option is activated by setting text.usetex : True in your rc settings.

Example Code for enabling/disabling tex:

from matplotlib import rc
rc('text', usetex=True)

comment:2 Changed 5 years ago by lewis

Setting the text.usetex rc option seems to have no effect on the issue.

Matplotlib exports PGF files as a series of Latex commands, which are sent to a latex compiler to produce the image (see

It supports 3 different compilers: xelatex (the default option), lualatex or pdflatex. None of these are included with SasView, hence the error message.

A fix would be to remove the .pgf option from the save image window. However, the save window is managed by matplotlib, so we would have to implement our own.

comment:3 Changed 5 years ago by butler

So does this mean that your system must have one of those compilers installed? Presumably the only reason to create such a latex raw graphic would be because you have latex and want to embed this in your tex document?

If so, perhaps a fix would be to capture the error and pop up a window indicating that "this produces a LaTex command sequence for generating the graphics and requires that one of x, y, z packages be installed none of which are detected on your system - please make sure an appropriate LaTex compiler is installed and try again"

comment:4 Changed 5 years ago by pkienzle

To remove pgf option you can do the following:

from matplotlib import backend_bases
backend_bases._default_filetypes.pop('pgf', None)

This could be put into

comment:5 Changed 5 years ago by smk78

Have updated /sasview/src/sas/sasgui/guiframe/media/graph_help.rst to say:

The PGF image type option requires a LaTeX compiler: xelatex (default), lualatex, or pdflatex. These are not shipped with SasView.

comment:6 Changed 5 years ago by Lewis O'Driscoll <lewis.o'drisco

In [89d9073ef8827100e1f4118a9cd4ec140e519373]:

Remove option to save plot as PGF format (closes #446)

comment:7 Changed 5 years ago by Lewis O'Driscoll <lewis.o'drisco

In [e68c9bf288ff7df58f530665fe0f348055904d17]:

Remove option to save plot as PGF format (closes #446)

comment:8 Changed 5 years ago by butler

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

This was fixed by Lewis but entering "closes" does not actually close the ticket. Doing so now

comment:9 Changed 4 years ago by butler

  • Milestone changed from SasView Next Release +1 to SasView 4.2.0
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