Why should I be using TeX for graphics? 
LaTeX  Graphics, Figures & Tables 
Written by Pieter Belmans 
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 19:00 
By the time you read this the revolution that Donald Knuth has caused in typesetting by creating TeX has made all of our lives so much easier. And I believe we are not enough aware of it. Producing highquality typesetting and beautiful typography, including mathematics, tables of contents, glossaries, ... It is all possible with a few backslashes and curly brackets. Over the last years a similar breakthrough has been occurring in the creation of graphics. This is no longer the territory of either big software suites or obscure programs. The current opensource software related to TeX has matured greatly and is now capable of what was previously only within reach of the happy few with specific knowledge and tools. This article is about how I have been experiencing the aforementioned breakthrough, hoping to convince you of trying some of the currently available tools yourself.  A contribution to the LaTeX and Graphics contest  PGF/TikZCentral in the TeX & graphics workflow is PGF/TikZ. Its first version was released in 2007 and in its current 2.10 release it is considered by myself and many others to be the indispensible tool for most of our graphics creating. It also provides the glue between many other things, which I will discuss later on. To quote the manual, and explaining the name: PGF means "Portable Graphics Format'' and TikZ stands for ``TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm''. This means that you, just like writing TeX is in a sense programming your text, the drawing consists of programming your graphics. This may sound hard and counterintuitive, but the pros are plenty:
Like Leslie Lamport said in his book LaTeX: A Document Preparation System: Making Greek letters is as easy as
This describes perfectly what a revolution TeX has caused in the area of typesetting. No more typewriters, handwritten mathematics or expensive publisheronly technology. The same can be said about PGF/TikZ: Drawing an orangle circle is as easy as
If you don't stick to drawing colored circles and decide to go all the way, you can get these examples from TeXample.net: Figure 1 The TeXtronics oscilloscope Figure 2 A complete graph on 16 nodes And a little example I created myself, automating the drawing of beating frequencies in TeX:\newcommand\frequencydiagram[5]{ \begin{tikzpicture}[scale = 0.85, domain = 0:10, samples = 5000] \draw[very thin] (0.1,2.1) grid (10.1,2.1); \draw[thick, >] (0.2,0)  (10.2,0); \draw[thick, >] (0,2.2)  (0,2.2) node[above] {amplitude}; \draw[fill] (0,0) circle (2pt) node [below left] {$0$}; \draw[fill] (pi,0) circle (2pt) node [below] {$\pi$}; \draw[fill] (2*pi,0) circle (2pt) node [below] {$2\pi$}; \draw[fill] (3*pi,0) circle (2pt) node [below] {$3\pi$}; \draw[color = yellow] plot function{sin(#1*#2*x)} node[right] {\SI{#4}{\hertz}}; \draw[color = red] plot function{sin(#1*#3*x)} node[right] {\SI{#5}{\hertz}}; \draw[semithick, color = blue] plot function{2*sin(#1*(#3+#2)*x/2)*cos(#1*(#3#2)*x/2)} node[right] {sum}; \end{tikzpicture} } \frequencydiagram{8}{1}{1.125}{8}{9} Code 1 Drawing beating frequencies which gives Figure 3 Beating frequencies

Latest Forum Posts
Re: 3D Orbits around Sphere, arc points or orbit coordinates
27/03/2015 09:08, Stefan_K
Re: 3D Orbits around Sphere, arc points or orbit coordinates
27/03/2015 09:06, startrucky
Re: Centering the whole document
27/03/2015 08:00, Stefan_K
Re: Getting latex to output Mathematica code as it's written
27/03/2015 01:03, Cham
Re: error opening BibDesk file
27/03/2015 00:03, Daviddivad
Re: Center the whole document
26/03/2015 23:00, Johannes_B
Re: Center the whole document
26/03/2015 22:54, Philosophaie
Re: Getting latex to output Mathematica code as it's written
26/03/2015 22:36, Johannes_B
Re: Centering the whole document
26/03/2015 22:25, Johannes_B
Re: Getting latex to output Mathematica code as it's written
26/03/2015 22:25, Cham
Comments
Thanks for the article!