I am unsure if this is the right place to ask this but I have seen this style of diagrams (shamelessly stolen from this question):

enter image description here

mostly in an academic setting, i.e. assignments, exams, publications, etc. Anyone have any idea how these diagrams are created. Are they created in Latex/Tikz/PGF, illustrator, paint, something else?

  • 1
    Where did you find the picture?
    – Pål GD
    Oct 30, 2015 at 9:00
  • 1
    @PålGD - shameless stolen from this question. Added to post.
    – nluigi
    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:25
  • The asymptote programming language is very good for this type of drawing. It's like a modern version of postscript with c++ style syntax. It outputs vector graphics and uses Latex for labels. See the gallery at asymptote.sourceforge.net
    – James
    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:29
  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is out of scope Academia.SX.
    – enthu
    Nov 2, 2015 at 9:50

4 Answers 4


This definitely looks like LaTeX rendered fonts, however, there looks to be some imprecisions in the alignment of the wheels, which might imply they are organized by hand.

Perhaps it is a combination of LaTeX and Inkscape? Inkscape can export to LaTeX-embeddable files so that LaTeX is in charge of rendering text.

  • exactly my thought, fonts look Latex renderered but there are too many aestetic mistakes to not be done by hand. I am going to give inkscape a try! thx
    – nluigi
    Oct 30, 2015 at 12:23
  • 1
    You can simply use LaTeX math mode, like $\phi_G$ in a textbox and export to pdf+LaTeX from Inkscape.
    – Pål GD
    Oct 30, 2015 at 13:42

Since it is my picture you 'shamelessly' stole (It is okay by the way).

I only used Inkscape to create this figure. With the help of the grid and alignment lines it is pretty easy to create a better picture than mine. It is supposed to be a quick sketch while I had no scanner nearby.

The Fonts are from here: LaTeX Equation Editor

  • 1
    Note that you did not need to use an external tool, as Inkscape has a LaTeX renderer.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 2, 2015 at 12:56
  • Thanks! I am going to try it now. I did not know about that renderer but ... well I guess sometimes one should at least skim read through a manual.
    – tlp
    Nov 2, 2015 at 14:00

TikZ is the correct answer. It takes some time to learn. https://www.ctan.org/pkg/pgf?lang=en

I suppose illustrator or any other vector graphics program could work.


The free maths software GeoGebra would do a nice job of this. Images can be exported in a variety of formats.

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