I use Latex now for about two years and have written a couple of larger documentations with it. When it comes to plotting (simple or complex, functions or data) I used gnuplot or R. The later more and more nowadays. Usually I export the plots to a high resolution png and include it as figure in the document.

I know that there are some packages around to plot in latex itself. However I've not tried that yet and I'm not sure if I should. Probably its best to just stick to R.

Therefore my questions:

  • What is your preferred way of plotting simple and complex things in Latex?
  • What is the best way to use an external plotting tool (gnuplot, R, ...)?

An example of plotting in Latex: Best way to generate a nice function plots in LaTeX?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mensch, user31729, Heiko Oberdiek, OSjerick, Martin Schröder Sep 17 '14 at 16:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 4
    An inserted picture will never beat pgfplots. – hpekristiansen Sep 17 '14 at 15:57
  • I'm a huge fan (Disclaimer: I'm one of the co-authors :-D) of gnuplottex (and thus gnuplot): tex.ac.uk/ctan/macros/latex/contrib/gnuplottex/gnuplottex.pdf (simple examples included) – John Sep 17 '14 at 16:18
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    Your question provokes opinion-based answers and is too broad, in my point of view, but the answer must be gnuplot of course ;-) – user31729 Sep 17 '14 at 16:30
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    To plot what ? This is very much like which keyboard is good ? Are you a coder, gamer what do you need? If you are happy with R stick to it. When you are stuck with R write here what you are stuck with. – percusse Sep 17 '14 at 16:38

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