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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:
<snip>
Sure thing, but I have to warn you -- these aren't the most complicated
diagrams in the world. That's partially why I got used to writing my own
picture environment stuff (and after using it for so long, I've become fast
at it.) It was always faster to DYI than to figure out xfig's atrocious
interface.

Here's three documents that should show a nice cross section of the type of
stuff I'd like to do with graphics programs (all this stuff except for
damped.ps were done by hand. The damped.ps document was done with xfig
(Jon and Mark, thank you for converting me.)

http://www.dirac.org/damped.ps
http://www.dirac.org/eddy.ps
http://www.dirac.org/Green-Functions.ps

If you have any suggestions, I'd definitely be appreciative.

One of my problems with xfig and dia is that I haven't figured out how to
put mathematics in my diagrams. Something like:

\put(50,65){$\vec{F} = \fder{p}{t}$}

which would be trivial when drawing my own diagrams. I suppose I could
insert it in the .eepic file that xfig generates, but the whole point is to
try to do this in a wysiwyg manner.

Even if it means just clicking on the screen to open up a box and type the
equation myself (which is what I'd prefer --- I'm light years faster doing
typeset math than any human being can be using a lyx/MS Word equation
editor.)

I only see a figure in damped.ps (using gv); looks nice.

Anyway, the ability to put latex typeset labels on my figures is precisely the reason I use xfig and not some other program (like Inkscape). Again, there are a few different ways to proceed. My current method is to type latex commands in text boxes in my xfig figure. I make sure to choose "latex fonts" (not postscript fonts; there is a box to choose), and I have the "special" flag checked. This part is in the manual:

http://www.xfig.org/userman/frm_miscellaneous.html

As the manual suggests, you can then export this as ps/latex, both parts. I used to do that. Instead, I now use the program "fig2ps" found here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/fig2ps/

This converts the fig file directly to ps/eps/pdf with all latex commands processed beautifully! You can even use a latex header file with personal commands defined, e.g. I redefine the /vec command. It's not quite wysiwyg; the latex commands often take up more space than the final text output, so sometimes it takes a little trial and error to get correct placement. Still, it works great for me.

Jonathan

P.S. I can send examples offlist if you like (I've never setup a website of my own :().
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