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I'm looking for good diagram editors with support for text entry as TeX.

I have used ipe and dia in the past, but ipe does not let me change a rectangle (or any polygon) so it'll have round corners. Dia is OK, except that it won't let me enter TeX in text areas, and I can't even put superscript/subscript in text labels.

Is there any other diagram editor (with a GUI -- I know of xypic and asymptote, but I'd rather be able to see the diagram as I work) that supports text entry as TeX (like ipe)?

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You might want to try TikZ. It is not an interactive editor, but rather a language to describe graphics programmatically from within the TeX source. Here are some examples of what TikZ can achieve. –  Andrey Vihrov Mar 9 '11 at 10:02
What output formats do you want to have? Are you drawing diagrams for eventual inclusion in a TeX document, or will you convert the TeX to something else along the way and then render to something graphical? –  Loop Space Mar 9 '11 at 12:20
I'm writing course notes, and I would like to later turn them into a book -- so I'd like all graphics to look consistent (and I'd like to be able to easily align parts of the diagrams etc). The output format is PDF. –  Jay Mar 9 '11 at 16:59
Just out of curiosity: you do know that asymptote has a rudimentary GUI, right? It is probably not what you want, nor as powerful as Inkscape, and I never used it. Just thought I'd mention it though. –  Willie Wong Mar 10 '11 at 19:07

5 Answers 5

Another way to use is Rendering the Latex formulas in inkscape and after save as the figure as pdf video

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I wouldn't say that Inkscape is a diagram editor in it's own sense and links to web pages/youtube videos might become invalid. As such, this is rather a comment than an answer –  Christian Hupfer 1 hour ago
In addition, this Inkscape has been mentioned already in other answers. –  Christian Hupfer 1 hour ago
While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. –  Andrew Swann 12 mins ago

Well, just found out that DIA (version dia-normal 0.97.2) can actually export into PGF macro format, i.e. at the end you will get a tikzpicture, which you can edit later, for instance add the desired LaTeX characters

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Welcome to TeX.sx! Feel free to visit our TeX.SX starter guide to get the most out of our site. –  Peter Jansson May 16 '13 at 15:22

Similar thing as Inkscape can be done in Dia too. In the Dia diagram, type some random text (of similar length) at those positions where you want math tex, export the diagram as a tex file, edit it in an editor to insert $, _, ^ etc and then in your main tex document where you want to include the diagram, use \input{blah.tex} (just replacing \includegraphics{blah.pdf}). The only issue with this is that if you scale your image (which also btw you will have to do through dia's tex code, changing 5th line as \begin{tikzpicture}[scale=0.5]), then your math tex goes out of position. But I guess that is a compromise.

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Martin's suggestion of Inkscape is likely the best, but Xfig supports export to formats that support Tex markup:

  1. Metapost, which is usually run using the mpost command, which generates Postscript, or mptopdf, which generates PDF, where the labels are run through Tex. If you use the Lualatex engine, the Metapost can be brought into the main document, and the engine is not separate.
  2. Pictex, which is a Plain Tex macro package: the output is Tex code that can be cut & pasted in;
  3. Combined Postscript/PDF and Latex formats, which use Postscript or PDF specials.

I've used Xfig for many years. It's not as sophisticated as Inkscape, but it works well alongside Latex.

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For schematics and such thing you can use inkscape. Then you can export your graphic as pdf and the text and positioning information is written to a tex-file. (There is a option for LaTeX expiort in inkscape)

The resulting tex-file can be used in your document (\input{}) and text and equations etc. will then appear in your latex text/math font.

On the left: Input in Kile Middle: Output in okular Right: Drawing in inkscape

enter image description here

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dia also works,you are so smart! –  eccstartup Aug 17 '13 at 14:36

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