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I need simple drawing software!

  1. Feb 23, 2006 #1
    Hi guys!
    I have the most irritating problem. :grumpy: I'm studying correspondence and need to submit assignments online, so all my assignments need to be wordprocessed. I'm busy with a calculus assignment that requires that I sketch graphs of quadratic surfaces. The problem is, we're not allowed graphing calculators, so (I suppose) we're also not allowed to use software that graphs functions for you. What I need is a little program, like MS Paint, but with standard shapes such as parabolas, hyperbolas, elipses etc. in stead of just the normal circle, square, triangle options. Numbered axes would be a bonus!! I need this program to be my pen and paper (if you know what I mean), nothing more, and I need to be able to save the file as a jpg or bmp so I can insert in into a Word doc.
    Please, if anyone knows of something like this, please let me know! I really dont want to have to draw by hand and scan... I suck at drawing!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2006 #2


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    I honestly don't think such a program exists. Under normal circumstances, no one would want to draw a graph by hand this way when a plethora of software already exists to plot automatically.

    If you suck at drawing, you should practice, and become better. That is, after all, what your teacher wants you to do.

    - Warren
  4. Feb 23, 2006 #3
    Why wouldn't it exist?!? That's like saying typesetting programmes like LATEX and Mathtype shouldn't exist, because why would you want to type out equations and solve them the long way if Matematica and MATLAB can do it for you. And no, Warren, I don't think the point of Higher Dimensional Calculus is to get better at drawing, but thanx for the advice.
  5. Feb 23, 2006 #4


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    The plotting equivalents of LaTeX do exist: programs like MATLAB, gnuplot, etc. will plot your datasets for you in ready-to-publish form. There's no market for a program which makes you place curves by hand.

    And, yes, learning to draw is very important in developing your mathematical intuition. You'll retain a lot more information about the shape you're drawing when you have to plot and draw it by hand, versus just having a computer do it for you.

    You probably shouldn't second-guess your professor, and you should probably do your homework in the fashion your professor intends.

    - Warren
  6. Feb 23, 2006 #5


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    What's wrong with MS Paint? It certainly has ellipses, and maybe it even has built in parabolas (or maybe not) in the curved line tool. I'm not sure just what kind of shape the curved line tool gives you, but it looks close enough to a parabola or hyperbola for sketching purposes. In fact it is nearly a hyperbola if you click twice in the same place instead of in different places, because it draws a line so that the line joining the endpoints and the place you clicked is the tangent line to the curve at the endpoints, which is similar to the asymptotes of hyperbolas. Also if you press "shift" when drawing a straight line your lines will snap to either vertical, horizontal, or 45 degree diagonal, which you can use to draw axes. You can make the marks on the axes of equal spacing by starting with one mark and copy-pasting other marks to match up exactly end-to-end with your first mark (it's not as hard as it sounds). Also you can save the axes in separate files and reuse them through copy paste.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2006
  7. Feb 24, 2006 #6
    Or it’s MS cousin “Draw” already inside of word so you don’t need to “insert”.

    Although if anyone knows someplace that has some more good tips and tricks collected on how to get the most out of using “Draw” & “MS-Paint” that would be helpful for all.
  8. Feb 24, 2006 #7
    Dear Warren

    You have clearly misunderstood my problem, but it's OK. You'll learn. Just hang in there, and remember: the more you practice reading, the easier it gets!!
    Thanks for the excellent advice. o:)
  9. Feb 24, 2006 #8
    Yay! Someone gets it!!:rofl:
  10. Feb 24, 2006 #9


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    Way to encourage people to help you, sunshine...
  11. Feb 24, 2006 #10
    Why don't you scan in nice sketches? It will look a lot more impressive than paint, and you will learn how to draw surfaces and all that jazz.

    Even just copying gnuplot's images at first..., it sucked when my lecturers couldn't sketch surfaces in class (even roughly).
  12. Feb 25, 2006 #11
    Yeah, that would be the ideal, but I don't have a scanner. I do have a digital camera, so I guess I could draw the sketches and photograph them... might look a bit weird, though. The thing is, making ROUGH sketches really isn't a problem for me... I've done that in every maths test and exam I've ever written and done very well in all of them. The point is I don't want rough sketches, I want nice sketches. I just want my project to look pretty!! Is that such a crime??
    You're right, paint is a bit infantile. I'm gonna check out DesignCAD. See how that works.
    Thanx for all the advice, guys!
  13. Feb 25, 2006 #12
    Have you tried working with the “Draw – AutoShapes – Lines – Curved Line” in Word.
    Just playing around with it just a couple minutes and I can get a petty clean sine wave.
    A whole lot better than I can with a free-hand free-courser “scribble” line, I just didn’t know how to use it till I tried it.

    Does anyone know how to build uniform ‘hash’ marks on a line, like a railroad track. Or does the cut and repeated pasting of a marked line segment into a longer line, as described earlier, seem like the best approach?

    And is there a way to cut off, erase or delete just a portion of a drawn line or shape rather than just covering it up with a shape the same color as the background? Such that a circle (not filled in) could become a curved line. I suspect the draw program once it builds a closed shape that can be “filled in” or “opaque” can never change it to just a line, but maybe a piece of the shape can be removed rather than just overlaid by another shape?

    Just a couple basics that would make the “draw” tool much more useful, if already there it such takes knowing how.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  14. Feb 25, 2006 #13
    for drawing nice clean curves etc...you should google for freeware vector drawing apps (or if money is no object CorelDraw, Macromedia Freehand, or Adobe Illustrator) and get yourself acquainted with their bezier line/pen tool (or whatever they call it)...a bit of skill with such a tool will enable you to draw any curve you like (they differ from curves you draw in MS paint in that such curves in paint are represented by coloured pixels, in a vector drawing app they are represented as objects that are defined with different and changeable parameters(ie: a circle, with a red stroke(line) of .25mm width, a radius of 50mm, and positioned at 0,120) :wink:...CAD programs should be of use also but if your agenda is to sketch nice clean curves my first suggestion would be better.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  15. Mar 7, 2006 #14
  16. Mar 7, 2006 #15
    Simple Graphics programs.

    Hi again.
    Sorry I forgot this site.
    http://www.cs.uu.nl/people/markov/kids/draw.html [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
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