Drawing Effective (and Beautiful) Graphs with TEX

JEAN-LUC DOUMONT

JL Consulting, Brussels, Belgium

JL@JLConsulting.be

**Abstract:**
A standard approach to producing documents that include illustrations
consists in typesetting text with specialized typesetting software
(such as TEX) and inserting illustrations created with different,
equally specialized software. To better integrate the illustrations
into the typeset page, it would be nice to be able to produce or
modify them directly with the typesetting software. Drawing graphs
with TEX, for example, would allow one to, say, set them
`\hsize`

wide and `0.75\hsize`

high, position labels exactly
`\baselineskip`

below the horizontal axis, and, especially,
typeset all annotations with the same fonts, sizes, and mathematical
beauty as the rest of the document.

The hybrid TEX and POSTSCRIPT macros presented in this presentation take advantage of TEX's powerful approach to graph and annotate data sets in a variety of ways, in order to produce effective, beautiful, well-integrated graphs. They use TEX to draw all horizontal and vertical lines (axes, tick marks, grid lines) and set all annotations. Then POSTSCRIPT is used to draw the data, as markers, lines, and areas. While fairly simple, they have been successfully harnessed to appear in a wide range of real-life applications, up to logarithmic graphs and (with some patience) complex multipanel displays. Of course, the macros are a tool for drawing final graphs, not for exploring or transforming data sets.