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Software for drawing simple diagrams for reports

  1. Feb 21, 2012 #1
    I'm looking for some software I can use to draw reasonable technical diagrams- the sort of diagrams you'd find in online lecture notes, or in maths/engineering textbooks, i.e. simple shapes, arrows, curves etc.

    It's hard to describe what I mean, hence why I've came after nothing on Google. For graphs I'll import them from Matlab to the Latex document, so its really just for diagrams which I need to draw myself (hopefully without resorting to pen and paper then scanning...).

    Also note, it can be Mac, Windows or Linux software, thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    There's ways to do it in LaTex. It can generate great results but can also be a pretty big pain. I think one package for this is Tikz.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  4. Feb 21, 2012 #3
    I agree, the results from this are exactly what I'm looking for, but I'm not sure that I have the time to learn how to use it well, at the same time as trying to write reports, study, etc. If there was an easier tool to use with similar results, that would be what I'd use.

    Thanks for you're help kai.
  5. Feb 21, 2012 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    For simple diagrams you could use OpenOffice's presentation tool (similar to Powerpoint)

    there's some vector drawing tools that can output svg that can be used in web pages or converted to images for documents. svg is great because you can reorder the drawing elements or resize them or adjust their polygon points...


    Also the iPad has a similar vector drawing app called inkpad with the same kinds of features.

  6. Feb 21, 2012 #5
    Inkscape is one that's came up in a few searches now, so I'll have a look into it, thanks!

    Looked a little more into Tikz, and it might not seem as complicated as I first thought, so I might give it a go too.
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