TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Anyone can give me an advice on finding a good program that would allow me to make free-body diagrams, such as a pendulum, a block descending down an inclined plane, a spring attached to a block and other simple graphics. as the ones you see in a typical physics book. I am having difficulties finding such program. I know you may say Adobe Illustrator but that's too expensive and the learning curve is very high, at least for me. Thanks.

share|improve this question

closed as off topic by Loop Space, Matthew Leingang, Alan Munn, Joseph Wright May 11 '11 at 11:50

Questions on TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange are expected to relate to TeX, LaTeX or related typesetting systems within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This looks off-topic to me as written. Can it be made more relevant to TeX? If not, then I'd be minded to close it. – Joseph Wright May 11 '11 at 6:59
Relevant to TeX, don't we have a big-list question about diagraming packages (TikZ, PSTricks, xy-pic, etc) somewhere? – Matthew Leingang May 11 '11 at 10:46
@Matthew: do you mean this one: tex.stackexchange.com/q/205/86 – Loop Space May 11 '11 at 10:59

Your question is unrelated to TeX, but you may want to take a look at the list of vector graphic editors. For free mathematical drawing, I recommend GeoGebra. For technical drawing, you will obviously need a CAD program. A free alternative to Adobe Illustrator is Inkscape which could be used along with a plug-in to export to PGF/TikZ.

share|improve this answer

As been stated before, the question is kinda unrelated to TeX, but I would recommend Dia for almost any kind of "simple" figures. For example the box-on-sloping-hill-with-spring scenario.

Dia also has commandline options for export, ie very useful when using Makefiles :)

share|improve this answer
A shortcoming of Dia is the impossibility to use LaTeX markup — all special symbols get escaped. This can be disabled, but requires modifying Dia's source code (last time I checked). – Andrey Vihrov May 11 '11 at 7:50

For the hard part, but keeping in line with TeX programs and consorts, you can take a look at Metagraf which provides a graphical frontend to Metapost.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.