MetaPost in ConTeXt

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< Graphics|Metafun|Metapost>

ConTeXT provides a tight integration of TeX and MetaPost. MetaPost can used behind the scenes for some graphic trickery. This integration is also helpful for drawing figures in MetaPost and use them in the document. This page is a brief overview of some of the commonly used commands.


\defineMPinstance and \setupMPinstance

\defineMPinstance and \setupMPinstance can be used to set up MetaPost invocations with particular features. One use case could be to select a sans serif font for all MetaPost labels.


\startMPenvironment is a deprecated evironment in which one could place settings that one only wanted to apply in the MetaPost environment, but not in the document itself. One should use \defineMPinstance and \setupMPinstance, instead.


Inside \startMPinclusions one can specify MetaPost files to input, and also define MetaPost functions.

\startuseMPgraphic and \useMPgraphic

\startuseMPgraphicdefines a piece of graphics code that is processed anew every time the graphic is placed with \useMPgraphic.

\startreusableMPgraphic and \reuseMPgraphic

For graphics that are the same every time, it is better to use \startreusableMPgraphic: the graphic is compiled only once, and the one resulting picture can be placed at various points with \reuseMPgraphic.


When reusing a graphic is not important, you can simply use \startMPcode.


\startMPpage produces a page a containing MetaPost graphic. The page is just large enough to contain the graphic. The resulting pdf is self-contained (it has all the fonts embedded) This is useful if you want to send the figure to a coauthor or a journal.


The \startuseMPgraphic series of commands were designed for using MetaPost for drawing fancy frames and backgrounds and not for using stand-alone graphics for a document. \startstaticMPfigure creates a separate pdf file containing the graphic. This pdf can be included in the document using \usestaticMPfigure. ConTeXt is clever enough to recompile the resulting MetaPost file only if something inside the \startstaticMPfigure has changed.

See also


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