# Best and easy-to-master free softwares for drawing geometric figures in math papers?

I'm not very familiar with how to draw geometric figures (say circles, rectangles, surfaces of different genera and cusps etc.). I'd like your opinion on softwares that I can use for this purpose. Are these softwares freely downloadable from internet?

As suggested, I should be more specific. I'm trying to draw:

1) The unit circle and several small circles tangent to it from the inside, and also joining those points of tangencies, I'm looking to draw the part of the circles that intersect the unit circle perpendicularly, so the "hyperbolic geodesics", so to say.

2) Surfaces of genus 1 (torus), and 2, 3, or higher (so double or triple torus or surfaces with "handles"). These surfaces could have "cusps" (imagine putting a hole on the surface and fit an infinitely long tube on that hole whose other end become narrow and narrow and gets close to zero as we walk away to infinity)

I'm not trying to PLOT them, I'm just trying to draw them by hand using may be a pencil in the software.

Thanks!

• Depending on what you're after, perhaps GeoGebra. – Torbjørn T. Nov 6 '13 at 9:57
• The geometry tag is about the package with same name that is used to change page layout (margins etc.) in LaTeX documents, not geometric figures. – Torbjørn T. Nov 6 '13 at 10:40

I would also recommend GeoGebra, it can also generate code to use with the TikZ or PSTricks packages, so you get high quality images.

If I want an illustrative graphic, TikZ would possibly be the system of choice for a LaTeX document for me.

If you want to actually plot different curves, I would support Daniel's suggestion of Geobgebra which is possibly the easiest to use free package out there.

If you have data to plot, I would suggest spending the time to learn R http://www.r-project.org/ which can create pd pdf plots (amongst other formats) to embed in a document.

(If you are in need of computation, Octave and Maxima may be of interest, but if you need simple graphs, they will be a lot of work for you.)

• I'm not trying to plot anything, I'm just trying to use hand and pencil/equipments in that software to draw them. How about Xfig? – Mathmath Nov 6 '13 at 10:47
• @Mathmath You don't want to use `xfig` because it leads to pictures with errors. Also the pictures won't be maintainable. I also suggest you use TikZ. The manual is great and IIRC some books also provide an introduction:-) – user10274 Nov 6 '13 at 10:55
• @Mathmath if you want to draw simple figures in text then TikZ should be fine. One needs some time to learn the syntax, but the more one draws, the better one gets at it. Just a quick query: Do you think you could attach a quick handdrawn sketch of what you would like to draw? I might be able to create it in TikZ as a sample. – DetlevCM Nov 7 '13 at 11:35

As always (and with the risk of sounding like a parrot) I would like to suggest Inkscape which with some meddling also can export PDF's that you run through LaTeX and get the best of two worlds.

• ...or EPS + TeX if you need to (some journals will only accept figs in EPS with LaTeX submissions, even though they immediately convert to PDF) – Chris H Nov 6 '13 at 11:41

For me the software that comes closest with my way of working o Mathematica. This program has an option to export in TEX format including graphics and mathematical elements.