[OS X TeX] making pictures, was "Should I install X11"
doaitse at cs.uu.nl
Fri Jun 23 04:21:52 EDT 2006
After struggling with the production of pictures for years, I have
discovered the TikZ library, that came with the installation of pgf
that came with the installation the beamer class which I installed
for making presentations (http://sourceforge.net/projects/latex-
It has an excellent manual, and it produces great pictures in a
relatively easy way. Note that if you install TeX using i-installer,
most of the documentation that comes with TeX is carefully made
invisible if you are not using a shell!!
The only disadvantage I see is that TikZ is implemented as a package
on top of TeX and introduces its own syntax. One the one hand this is
nice since you get a kind of special syntax for pictures, but any
mistake you make in the code may lead to unexpected results, or
spurious error messages.
The way I tend to produce my pictures nowadays is:
- to include Haskell code in my latex source that generates the
TikZ commands, thus using TikZ as a drawing machine
- use lhs2TeX, which I am using anyway to format my Haskell code in
the slides, to evaluate Haskell expressions in the source
that result in the TikZ drawing commands
This gives me a type safe language with an excellent abstrcation
mechanism to program my pictures in, and an integration with the
LaTeX world in which sizes etc are computed.
I think that in the end this is a quite long route; it might be nicer
to have the Haskell code generate the pdf directly, but this takes
some work in case you want to incorporate also objects described in
LaTeX, like texts and formulas.
I never managed to use Xfig, since you have to first select an
operation and then have to select the objects you want to apply them
to. The Mac user interface operates exactly the other way around, and
this is too much for my brain,
On 2006 jun 23, at 10:00, Peter Dyballa wrote:
> Am 23.06.2006 um 00:56 schrieb Robert Bruner:
>> I like Xfig for drawing diagrams that are way too
>> tedious to write out in XYpic. Is there an analogous
>> program that doesn't depend on X11?
> My Mac came with OmniGraffle. It produces compact PNG files. I
> prefer it more than Xfig.
> Remember: use logout to logout.
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