I use LaTeX in Mac for my scientific reports. I want to include illustrations like this:

enter image description here

One of my professors recommended DrawPerfect 1.1. It is obvious that he is outdated. I was thinking of using Illustrator or other vector drawing program or use PGF, TikZ, PSTricks, but I not sure what is the best option for a drawing program properly integrated with LaTeX which is not too difficult to use. What are the reasons to choose from the various options?

  • 2
    pst-solides3d was written to solve this kind of problem. Nov 7, 2013 at 2:22
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    @Marienplatz - Very interesting, I will take a look at pst-solides3d.
    – Kiyoshi
    Nov 7, 2013 at 8:29

1 Answer 1


There are many alternatives to make a scientific illustrations, but your choice should be based on the type of field you primarily work in. If you work with physics then vector programs like Inkscape or Adobe Illustrator are the way to go, if you are not familiar with PGF/TikZ. You will quickly benefit from those programs, and I know Inkscape are able to convert its svg-format into PGF/TikZ code.

However, if you would like to work with PGF/TikZ (and spend some time on it), it is worth doing. But you need to maintain your skills with the syntax, otherwise it is too time consuming from my experience.

  • I can take some time to PGF/TikZ but not to be constantly with him. Thanks for your opinion.
    – Kiyoshi
    Nov 6, 2013 at 23:22
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    @Kiyoshi I think that Tikz is very good for two-dimensional drawings but fairly limited for 3D drawings similar to the one you are showing, in which case I would opt for Asymptote asymptote.sourceforge.net If you cannot exactly achieve what you want, you can still edit your files with Inkscape or Illustrator.
    – pluton
    Nov 7, 2013 at 0:29
  • @pluton - I think I'll use Inkscape.
    – Kiyoshi
    Nov 7, 2013 at 8:16
  • @Kiyoshi - But how are you going to draw a nice cube in perspective view in Inkscape? You have to use an application that performs the calculation for you.
    – pluton
    Nov 7, 2013 at 10:20
  • @pluton - Yes, you're right. I'll have to use a combination of Inkscape with another program.
    – Kiyoshi
    Nov 7, 2013 at 11:20

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