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4.12 The Metapost menu 

The Metapost system implements a picture-drawing language very much like Knuth's Metafont except that it outputs PostScript commands instead of bitmaps. Metapost is a powerful language for producing figures for documents to be printed on PostScript printers. It provides easy access to all the features of PostScript and it includes facilities for integrating text and graphics.

To use Metapost, you prepare an input file containing Metapost code and then run Metapost. For an input file called foo.mp Metapost will produce output files with names like foo.1 and foo.2. These files contain the output in EPS (Encapsulated PostScript) format. Any messages sent to the screen are also saved in a log file.  

Figure 4.21The Metapost menu

[F] change input File
selects the Metapost file (.mp) to be edited/created.

[P] change input Path
clears the field MP input path and another subdirectory can be chosen. If you enter a directory name with wildcards (or an empty one) 4TeX will display a list of all directories that satisfy the wildcard specification. By using the cursor keys you can select the directory you want. Using this approach you do not have to type the whole directory name (correctly) but only a few letters are often enough. Press [Esc] to restore the directory name to the old setting.

[E] Edit input file
The Metapost file contains all statements needed to generate PostScript output. You can edit this file.

[M] run Metapost
starts the Metapost program, using the chosen Metapost file as input. All messages that Metapost generates in this run are also written to the log file. chosen Metafont file as input. All messages that Metafont generates in this run are written to the log file.

[L] show Logfile
shows the remarks and error messages that Metapost produced. They are stored in the log file.

[V] View Metapost output file(s)
will run a TeX job2 that includes all Metapost output files, convert the resulting DVI file to PS, and display it using Ghostscript.

[C] Convert Metapost output file(s) to full EPS
converts the Metapost output to ready-made EPS files. This extra step is necessary if the Metapost input file called for TeX to typeset pieces of text.

[W] vieW EPS file
Metapost produces PostScript output files. You can view these on screen by using Ghostscript. Select the output file from the menu and then press [Enter] to view it. Note that choosing a non-PostScript file may generate strange errors. Any PostScript files usually starts with %!PS .

[R] Return to main menu
leaves the Metapost menu and return to the main menu. An equivalent key is [Esc].

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