What graphics publishing tools are commonly used for textbooks, journals, etc? (I am thinking of the 3D plots one might find in a calculus book, things like that) It seems like Mathematica, Maple, and Matlab are great for plotting, but are they also suitable for publishing? They don't seem to have the same appearance as professional quality graphics, but maybe I have not investigated enough. Also, it seems like it would be difficult to make subtle modifications, such as line weight, type, etc. One of my textbooks which has great graphics says they were created with CorelDraw, but that sounds unappealing. Google Sketchup is appealing, but it has difficulties too. Ideally, it would be nice to create a plot in a math program and export it to a graphics program for final editing, similar to what you can do with an architectural cad program. That may not exist, though. Thanks
using mathematica it is relatively easy to change things line line width, type and so on. it is just a matter of using the right options (v7 has what amounts to a "wizard" for plotting where all one has to do is fill in the desired parameters, the syntax is already done). I don't know much about other mathematics graphing softwares, but i imagine that they operate in pretty much the same way.