While watching presentations (mostly made with beamer) at my university I noticed, most people here use LaTeX to create there presentations which is really nice. (not just for the health of my eyes)

Getting more familiar with PSTricks,TikZ, pgfplots and other packages creating graphics I often notice, people try to create beautiful presentations but struggle inserting pictures, plots or schemes.

I tend to tell them that there is an easy way to create graphics and display them within their documents. Mostly they are totally stunned after seeing some examples. After showing some code, most of them refuse to go this way and continue to do workarounds and other hacky stuff to include there pictures.

This leads me to two questions in once.

  1. Why are tools like TikZ and pgfplots still this unknown even though most of the questions here turn out to be related to them?
  2. Any ideas on how to convince them to really try them out.
  • 8
    A lot of users do not follow up on new developments. They stick to what ever they have always done. Many users will have learned LaTeX through some introduction notes (like not so short). Sad thing is, they will only use those notes to solve their problems. Most users will not know about this place, or even try to use google to solve their problem.
    – daleif
    Jun 12, 2013 at 11:51
  • 3
    It doesn't matter as long as the figures are nice whether via TikZ or Photoshop or Visio. You have to convince them to make their figures nicer which is much harder. When there is a need there is a will.
    – percusse
    Jun 12, 2013 at 11:54
  • Is this LaTeX (or TikZ, pgfplots...) specific though ? You can create beatiful graphics in all sorts of ways.
    – ach
    Jun 12, 2013 at 12:01
  • @ach: don't be heretic :D. BTW: I think Why draw diagrams using LaTeX when there are open source tools like OpenOffice? can slightly answer to question n.2. Jun 12, 2013 at 12:10

1 Answer 1

  1. Whet their appetite: show example galleries (TikZ, PSTricks, pgfplots) to see how capable the packages are. People may understand that they can use it for much more than just one picture, so worth the effort of learning.

  2. Show an easy workflow to easily create a stunning diagram.

    • Draw a grid of help lines (just a small \foreach \draw thing)
    • Place some nodes there, you can easily see the coordinates using the grid
    • Connect the nodes by arrows
    • Define one or more fancy node styles and apply

    Straightforward, quick, understandable, nice result.

  3. Show that TikZ pictures are overlay aware, they can evolve while clicking through slides.

  4. Show that you can integrate TikZ with classic text and maths: between equations and terms, you can create arbitrary arrows using \tikzmark.

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