Software to draw graphs and other pictures?

In summary, the conversation discusses different software options for creating presentations with graphs and illustrations for students, scientists, and the general public. Suggestions include MATLAB, gnuplot, InkSpace, Kaleidograph, Excel, Powerpoint, and the use of LaTeX for more precise illustrations. The conversation also mentions the availability of these programs on Mac computers.
  • #1
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Hello,

I would like to know which sotfware physicists (or other scientists) use to make nice pictures for presentations to students, scientists or general public. I would like to make good presentations without spending a day for drawing a simple image. For example if I want to explain Riemann integration by making several graphs with more and more rectangles under the curve, are there good programs that are modulable?

My question focuses on graphs but it could be asked for anything, like electric circuits, molecules in chemistry or Feynman diagrams...

Best regards.
 
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  • #2
I think one problem with suggestions is that no given program will do the job equally well.
For data visualization and graphing, something like MATLAB will be excellent. Or gnuplot, if you're cheap like me.
For generic drawings, I personally can recommend InkSpace. It's free, but of excellent quality.
 
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  • #3
Hello, thank you for your answer. There is no problem if different tasks are done by different programs. I am not necesary looking for one single program doing everything.

But are you sure about MATLAB? I do not use it but I thought it was used for plotting curves and doing numerical calculations, not drawing rectangles under curves or adding color to show how integrals are related to surfaces, etc.

I did not know InkSpace, I will take a look, thanks. :)
 
  • #4
Well, I was suggesting MATLAB with the idea that you would create a dummy data set, and then plot it both as a continuous line, as well as a bar plot. That way you wouldn't have to draw it yourself.
But yeah, adding text and colors, that's better done in InkSpace.
 
  • #5
I like to use Kaleidograph as a graphing package. It makes great "presentation quality" plots, and has great curve fitting capabilities. Excel also has good graphing software.

For drawing, Powerpoint is a very popular choice, with lots of functionality and ease of use.

Chet
 
  • #6
any software for mac? I tried a few of the software suggested in previous questions in the forum but none of them works well...:confused:
 
  • #7
td21 said:
any software for mac? I tried a few of the software suggested in previous questions in the forum but none of them works well...:confused:
Well certainly, the Microsoft Office programs Powerpoint and Excel work on mac. I don't know whether Kaleidograph is available on mac, but my guess is, yes.

Chet
 
  • #8
InkSpace? Perhaps Inkscape.
 
  • #9
The R project can make some quality graphs.
Other than that, I once drew a schematic representation of an engine using the tikz-picture in LaTeX.
If you use latex to make such presentations, that is an option.
It is tedious however since you have to use the proper "commands" to position individual parts.
 

1. What is the purpose of software for drawing graphs and pictures?

The purpose of this software is to create visual representations of data and information. It allows users to convey complex ideas and concepts in a more understandable and engaging way.

2. What features should I look for in software for drawing graphs and pictures?

Some important features to consider are the ability to import and export data, a variety of graph and image customization options, and the ability to create different types of graphs (e.g. bar, line, pie). It is also helpful to have an intuitive user interface for ease of use.

3. Can this software be used for both professional and personal purposes?

Yes, most software for drawing graphs and pictures can be used for both professional and personal purposes. It can be used for creating presentations, reports, and infographics in a professional setting, as well as for personal projects such as designing invitations or creating visual aids for school projects.

4. Is there a learning curve for using this type of software?

Like any software, there may be a learning curve for using this type of software. However, most programs offer tutorials and guides to help users get started. With some practice and familiarity, users can become proficient in creating graphs and pictures.

5. Can I share my graphs and pictures created with this software?

Yes, most software for drawing graphs and pictures allows users to save and share their creations in various formats, such as PDF, JPEG, or PNG. This makes it easy to share graphs and pictures with others through email, social media, or presentations.

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