[XeTeX] OT: creating beautiful graphs

Adam R. Maxwell amaxwell at mac.com
Wed Jan 25 16:30:42 CET 2006

On Jan 24, 2006, at 22:21, Faisal Moledina wrote:

> This is somewhat off-topic from XeTeX.  I assume that most, if not  
> all, the member on this list are Mac users, and I'm calling out to  
> those who regularly have to plot data to include in their XeTeX  
> documents.  I regularly have to plot data for lab reports and I  
> have in the past done so in the most cumbersome method possible.  I  
> would plot the data in Excel, then decrease the margins of the  
> graph, then print the graph to PDF, and then include the graph into  
> my XeTeX document.

That's cumbersome, all right.  I use Igor Pro from <http:// 
www.wavemetrics.com/> for my plotting needs; I typically set up the  
graph just as I want, then create a style macro that can be applied  
to subsequent plots.  Igor exports in common image formats and EPS,  
and WaveMetrics has excellent (free!) tech support and academic  
pricing; if you're not in academia, it's expensive, but they don't  
hold you up for a yearly license fee.  I'm not affiliated with  
WaveMetrics, just a very satisfied user.  You might check out  
Kaleidagraph, which I haven't used in years.

> I was wondering if there was a nice Mac program that plotted data  
> very well.  I have used Grapher, but only to plot known equations,  
> not raw data.  I was thinking of using either Octave or MATLAB but  
> I don't necessarily want to use a heavyweight program just to plot  
> some data.  What do you all use?

I sympathize with the "heavyweight" idea, but I gave up on using  
multiple graphing packages, since I don't have time to learn and  
remember them.  There's been some discussion of graphing packages  
recently on Apple's scitech list, if you want additional ideas (lots  
of complaints about licensing of Mathematica, MATLAB, and Maple).

-- Adam

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