Adding labels to PostScript figures

There seems to be much confusion among mathematicians about how to add labels, particularly ones produced by , to illustrations in PostScript. The basic problem is that although PostScript is very capable of dealing with text, these days even very capable of dealing with the CM fonts commonly used by , it does not have built into it any way to produce the formatting which is important---even crucial---to mathematical comprehension.

Here is a more concrete example of the problem. We start with a graph of the function y = x2 for x = -1 to x=1 .

If you have enabled a PostScript viewer in your browser (for example by registering ghostview %s (Unix) or GSView %s (Windows) with your browser as the application for handling PostScript files), you can click on to see an image of higher quality, and on to see the file that produced it.

We want to add to this a few labels to produce this:

The point is that the labels ought to be in , as they are here.

We shall offer three ways to solve this problem. They differ in their answer to the questions: Where does text end and graphics begin? To what extent should one expect to poke around inside a graphics file? How much work is a well designed label in a figure worth?

Written by Bill Casselman with help from David Austin and Joel Feldman.