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Re: [vox-tech] Rant: LaTeX graphics programs
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Re: [vox-tech] Rant: LaTeX graphics programs

Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
I need to vent frustration.

Xfig has got to be the single most un-user friendly piece of software I've
ever seen.  I experience physical pain everytime I use it.

It's NOT a hyperbole to say that I can do most diagrams faster by coding the
picture environment by hand than drawing the equivalent diagram with xfig.
Maybe if xfig developers stole the Gimp interface things would be better.
As it stands, it looks like a musty UNIX(TM) application from the 80's.
Looks like Xaw or something.  Congress should do something useful for a
change, like outlawying the X toolkit.

My hat is off to anyone on this list who is actually handy with this
Well, I think I'm rather handy with Xfig. It certainly does have a way of doing things that is quite different from most "drawing" programs. But once I figured out its quirks I actually like it. The only thing that gets to me is when typing in a box, the mouse cursor MUST stay in the box.

Dia's interface is OK, but doesn't give me a lot of control over the
objects.  Its font stuff almost never works right when you view the final
LaTeX dvi/postscript.  Dia also seems to have wierd scaling issues when
exporting to tex format.  Also, Dia is WYSIAWYG (what you see is almost what
you get).

What I really want is a program like Macromedia Flash that can export to a
LaTeX picture environment format.

There are dozens of different ways to get a figure into Latex. I prefer to create an eps/pdf which I then insert, and it doesn't matter so much to me how that eps/pdf is created as long as it looks right. It seems that you want figures to be a Latex picture that you input. One possibility is to make an eps with some other program (Dia?), convert to xfig with 'pstoedit', and then convert the xfig to Latex picture. I know it's not ideal, and maybe the figure gets garbled along the way, but you could try it.

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