Which format should I use?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question -- different solutions work better in different situations. In an effort to help you decide which will work best for you, we provide a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the three available formats.
GIF:GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format. It was developed by CompuServe as a device-independent way to store pictures. The files are well-compressed, so download time is relatively short. Most web browsers can display GIF images on their own, but these level diagrams are large and complex, so you would probably be better off to use an external viewer. [Netscape on IBM-compatibles has shown particularly bad problems when attempting to view the gif versions of these figures.] JPEGView (for Macintosh), LView (for MS Windows), and XV (for X Windows) are all free (or shareware) and available from software archives. You will also need to configure your browser to launch your external viewer when it encounters a file with the extension ".gif" (your browser's help files should tell you how to do this -- it's a simple matter).
PDF:Of the three formats we offer, Portable Document Format provides the smallest files, and therefore the shortest file transfer time. These files were produced with Adobe Acrobat software, and can be viewed with the Acrobat Reader (or Adobe Acrobat v.3.0+). (*Note: many web browsers now come with a pdf viewer plug-in, so you may not need to download additional software.) The Acrobat Reader is currently pre-installed on all new Macintosh and IBM personal computers. Additionally, the reader is available for download free of charge from Adobe, with versions for a multitude of platforms. PDF is the format of choice for much of the Nuclear Data Network, so if you plan to use our evaluated data frequently, you would do well to download the Acrobat Reader. You will need to configure your web browser to launch Acrobat Reader when it encounters a file with the extension ".pdf" (your browser's help files should tell you how to do this -- it's a simple matter).
EPS:Encapsulated Postscript files are huge (about 30 times the size of GIF or PDF!), so it can take a few minutes to download one level diagram. However, there are occasions in which you may prefer to use the eps files. A fast UNIX workstation with a good postscript viewer can display one of these files fairly quickly. Encapsulated postscript files can be embedded into a TeX file. (Please see the note on proper citation of our work.) They can be imported into paint programs and edited. And perhaps most importantly, they can be downloaded and printed to a postscript printer even if you don't have any sort of graphics viewer.
PS:Our Postscript files are smaller in size than the EPS files. We started producing Postscript files for the scanned figures from earlier FAS publications (1959 - 1987). Postscript is basically the same as EPS, but it has page formatting rather than a binding box. Please refer to the above EPS description for uses of PS files.