As I’m completing my doctoral dissertation, I needed to edit large numbers of encapsulated postscript images (.eps) to all have identical axis labeling, legends, etc. I also needed image scalability. So I wanted to use Xfig. I first converted my .eps images to Xfig .fig figures using
pstoedit -f xfig imagename.eps imagename.fig
The pstoedit command is wonderful and I highly recommend it. Then I loaded the images in Xfig, but needed to do lots of text resizing. This takes forever with point-and-click in Xfig. So I explored the .fig file.
Editing an Xfig .fig File
If I open a new file (say trial1.fig) and just start a textbox with 12-point Times-Roman font, I get a corresponding entry in the .fig file
#FIG 3.2 Produced by xfig version 3.2.5
4 0 0 50 -1 0 12 0.0000 4 135 1050 1050 2475 This is a test.01
If I start changing things, I can see which items in the last row make changes.
- I can change the text alignment within the textbox. I can choose left, center, or right aligned by either changing the integer in the second column from 0 (left) to 1 or 2 (center, or right).
- The third integer in the row specifies fontcolor. For instance, 0 is black, but blue is 1 and Green3 is 13.
- The sixth integer in the bottom row specifies fontface. 0 is Times-Roman, but 16 is Helvetica (a MATLAB default).
- The seventh number is fontsize. 12 represents a 12pt fontsize. Changing the fontsize of an item really is as easy as changing that number to 20.
- The next number is the counter-clockwise angle of the text. Notice that I have changed the angle to .7854 (pi/4 rounded to four digits=45 degrees).
- The twelfth number is the position according to the standard “x-axis” in Xfig units from the left. Note that 1200 Xfig units is equivalent to once inch.
- The thirteenth number is the “y-position” from the top using the same unit convention as before.
- The nested text string is what you entered into the textbox.
- The “01” present at the end of that line in the .fig file is the closing tag. For instance, a change to 100 appends a @ symbol at the end of the period of that sentence.
I’ll try to do something similar to this for shapes, such as boxes.