[texhax] graphics in LaTeX

William Adams wadams at atlis.com
Mon Jun 30 18:49:05 CEST 2003

Loretta Allen asked:
>I have been using LaTeX for a long time, but I am still unable
>to do some graphics in LaTeX.  Can you suggest an easy to
>use graphics program compatible with LaTeX?  I'm presently working 
>on a project to include figures from Microsoft Word
>into a LaTeX document.  

Are you using Latex in Windows or some other platform?

What's your budget for graphics software?

What sort of figures are you wanting to include?

How are things ultimately to be output?

Do you find drawing in Word acceptable?

I'm going to assume Windows, $0, simple, printed on your personal
printer or b/w composite output in the University print shop and yes ;)

Install a Windows PostScript printer driver, then draw your figures one
to a page per file, using a custom page size which matches the intended
output size of your figure, then ``Print'' to a PostScript job of type
EPS file to get a file which can be placed in Latex when generating
PostScript output. If you don't have a PostScript printer use
Ghostscript, or make a .pdf instead using pdflatex (you'll need to
convert your .eps figures into .pdfs beforehand though, see the
Ghostscript and pdftex manuals and TeX FAQ for how to do this)

In particular see the FAQ entries:

Also the text:

This web page:

has some helpful hints as well---the last two links could be found by
going to http://www.tug.org, clicking on ``TeX Resources on the Web'',
and scrolling down to ``Graphics:''

There's a Windows version of xfig, and a Java version (jfig) which you
may find of interest if you want to ditch Microsoft Word's Drawing
program. Other free programs which can be run in Windows / Linux which
you may find of interest include Dia and Sketch. Perhaps
http://www.beurden.cjb.net/latexpix.htm may be of interest?

Commercial programs to consider include Canvas (you can sometimes find
complete, older versions of this on CDs bundled w/ British computer
magazines at your local book store (Barnes & Noble, Borders & the
like)), Visio (if you're doing diagrams / flowcharts &c.) or Macromedia
FreeHand (though this is more of a freeform illustration package which
is fairly demanding).

The new QT version of LyX is pretty cool and works quite transparently
in Windows as well, www.lyx.org, look for Ruurd Reitsma's QT compile for Windows.


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