So I dug in ImageMagick's convert documentation, and came up with the following code that converts the PDF file into a PNG with a transparent background:
convert -density 600 figure.pdf -channel alpha \ -fx '((r == 1 && g == 1 && b == 1) ? 0 : 1)' figure.png
There are still some few points that look white but are probably not that white (due to antialiased rendering of the PDF file ?). There are many more things that can be done using the
-fx operator, this page was helpful to me !
Edit: while the alpha channel seems to be on by default for PDF files, it is not necessarily the case for all images. If the above doesn't work, try adding
-alpha Set before the