[OS X TeX] Electronic Engineering Reports

Charilaos Skiadas skiadas at hanover.edu
Wed Mar 7 21:19:25 CET 2007

Others have already offered a number of suggestions, I'll just add my  
2c to this.
Depending on the number of reports and such graphs that you are  
planning to create I would recommend it is worth your while to learn  
one of the languages designed to produce such graphs, for instance  
MetaPost as you mention. I personally use R these days, which  
specializes in statistics but its graphics package is particularly  
powerful. But I have used MetaPost in the past. I've never actually  
messed with pstricks, so can't offer an opinion on that.

Basically if you are going to generate a lot of diagrams, one of the  
key things you would want is a way to replicate a pattern. E.g. for  
graph paper you would want to replicate a vertical line a bunch of  
times, and a horizontal line a bunch of times. You might then want to  
adjust widths and things. For all these you need a language that  
allows you to use variables and things. Similarly you might want to  
have blocks that are the individual circuit pieces, and then they  
come together in a bigger construct. You would want to be reusing  
things you've already done each time.

In the long run, if you have to produce more than a couple of  
figures, learning languages devoted to graphing will pay off I think  
(and metapost is really not that complicated IMO). And for anyone who  
has managed to learn LaTeX, these languages are not such a big step.

You might want to have a look at Graphviz:
http://www.graphviz.org/ . It's both a GUI program and an underlying  
language like metapost. I haven't personally used it, but I've heard  
good things.
Don't really know though if you "include" it in LaTeX in any other  
form than via its image outputs. Don't know how important that is to  
you either.

Haris Skiadas
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
Hanover College

On Mar 7, 2007, at 12:12 PM, Dima wrote:

> I'm quite familiar with LaTeX now (ie typesetting, text, using TOC,
> labels etc) as well as typing lots of equations.
> Now I want to draw circuit diagrams, timing diagrams, as well as
> graphs, and graph paper.
> I heard about MetaPost and PStricks, but it seems to me that these are
> just to much to learn to do "draw" quickly. Same applies to some
> packages I found around CTAN.
> Just today I found JpicEdt, Java based application which does this.
> But are there any other programs to do this or should I learn
> PStricks/MetaPost (yak) or are there any better ways to do the
> following statements:
> 1) Can I make a float figure which has grid/axis to fill in by hand
> after a print it
> 2) Can I create a full page of customised graph paper
> 3) Can I draw on those axis graphs of math expressions
> 4) Can I add points (is black dot big letter A (or alphabetical
> counter better) then (2,5) and label in it as well to reference from
> test)
> 5) Diagrams with symbols for electronic symbols you can think off  
> with labelling
> 6) would be incredible to be able to actually draw on top ie smily
> faces, text, LaTeX equations
> + clarifying points
> Metafont and PStricks are back-ends that render the source files of
> graphical information made using specialised commands (Y/N/not
> really), and it can be embedded into Latex document, ie include

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