I was wondering if there is this "universal" program that generates a picture of a graph (you make), then exports it to SVG form. The SVG is because I want to export my whole project to PDF, so I need everything to be scalable vectors.

I was really curious how do people add different style of graphs, from regular "circles connected with lines/arrows" to graphs of automata like so (Apologies, I cannot make this picture view from the front as I don't have enough reputation):

Picture of Automata for example

My question is basically if there are some good (free) softwares to create graphs (any time of graph), so that it would look nice in a PDF, and not pixel-y.
Or do they make these on photoshop alone?
I was really trying hard to find some, the closest thing I found is XMIND which costs money for SVG, and on top of that, I did not see how to make this automata style. (The automata is just an example of a "bizarre" graph/image, but I really mean all styles)

Thank you very much!


1 Answer 1


In my experience, these kinds of pictures are usually created using the LaTeX package TiKZ. An example collection of what can be done with TiKZ and how is available here: https://texample.net/tikz/examples/

  • 1
    See also the associated package, pgfplots. One can also embed gnuplot code in that way, which can be more flexible in some cases. In general if you don't have a 'closed form' expression for your graph, you will need to use data files.
    – algae
    Commented Feb 23, 2021 at 22:41

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