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I have never used a graphing tool in LaTeX but now I need to draw a picture. It is not very complicated: an xy-plane with axis; a number of points; a number of straight lines and finally two hyperbolas. My question is what tool I should pick? I have seen TikZ but I am told it takes quite some time before you can actually use it.

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6 Answers

up vote 20 down vote accepted

If you are looking for a LaTeX package, use pgfplots (based on TikZ), or pst-plot (part of PSTricks). Or you can use any other tools to draw graphs, such as gnuplot, MATLAB, etc.

For Euclidian geometry, tkz-euclide or pst-eucl package can be used. And I recommend a java program GeoGebra, which is really easy to use:



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+1 for the use of Geogebra. It is great for geometry and exports tikz code. –  fabikw Jan 27 '11 at 17:28
Thank you this not only helped me with what I needed but also in the process I learned a little bit of tikZ! –  Hesam Feb 13 '11 at 6:34
GeoGebra is superb in use with LaTeX. I know the person who beat me in making a translation, otherwise I would help the development. –  Harold Cavendish Jun 21 '11 at 21:27
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You can use tkz-fct, tkz-base and tkz-euclide. All the packages are based on pgf/tikz. tkz-fct uses gnuplot to get points. It' s possible to get intersection of the straight lines and the two hyperbolas.

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Welcome to tex.sx! Although your user name is different from your "real world name", it is probably not recommendable to sign your posts with the latter: It's really not usual here; just stick with the user name that appears automatically in the lower right corner. Only in this answer of yours it was quite good since this gave us valuable extra information :-) –  Hendrik Vogt Jan 27 '11 at 8:25
@ Hendrik Thanks for welcome and thanks for your remark . I am a bit lost in this new world :) –  Alain Matthes Jan 27 '11 at 14:39
Hope you're finding your orientation. One piece of help: Don't put a space between "@" and "Hendrik". With the space, I wasn't notified of your comment. –  Hendrik Vogt Jan 30 '11 at 9:33
@Hendrik Thanks ! Yes I begin to find my orientation. I read yesterday a answer about : "how to use @" and this morning I discover the letter symbol at the top of the page :) –  Alain Matthes Feb 1 '11 at 12:40
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Inkscape is he BIG DADDY of drawing packages. It is extremely powerfull. Since version 0.48 it has the option to export the text and graphics separate so that the figure then can be processed with Latex to create a pdf. It can be called with command line options. the following is a Windows-DOS batch file to do the job. You can insert your local font setup in "texheader.tex"


call inkscape.exe -z -D --file=%1.svg --export-pdf=%1-@temp-src.pdf --export-latex

echo \documentclass[10pt]{article}      > %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \InputIfFileExists{texheader}{}{} >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \usepackage{graphicx}             >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \usepackage{color}                >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \pagestyle{empty}                 >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \begin{document}                  >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \input{%1-@temp-src.pdf_tex}      >> %1-@temp-tex.tex
echo \end{document}                    >> %1-@temp-tex.tex

call pdflatex %1-@temp-tex.tex
call pdfcrop  %1-@temp-tex.pdf %1.pdf

del %1-@temp-src.*
del %1-@temp-tex.*

jpgfdraw can export to pgf.

Ipe can export to eps and pdf and uses Latex for text.

TpX Is also quite usefull to include Latex text.

LaTeXDraw generates PSTricks graphics

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For drawings and plots I recommend TikZ and PGFplots.

There is also an example with intersections: Intersection

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PSTricks has a package named pst-eucl that provides us with many interfaces to draw euclidean geometry objects as follows. PostScript language, that is used internally by PSTricks, allows us to do more complex mathematical calculation. It is worth investing your time to learn PSTricks. :-)

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Can GeoGebra do these diagrams easily and accurately?

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TexGraph in French only I guess

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