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I have a large diagram that does not fit into horizontal space of my A4 book manuscript (see below).

  • What to do to make the diagram easier to read?
  • Should I replace big formulas with numbers or letters to label the arrows with numbers or letters and describe the corresponding formulas below (or above) the diagram (so called, "legend")?
  • If yes, what to use as arrow labels: numbers or letters?

a bigger diagram

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    Can you give the figure its own page and just rotate it 90 degrees? – tonysdg Mar 29 '16 at 17:59
  • But should the heading "Figure 1" be also rotated? (or only the diagram itself) – porton Mar 29 '16 at 19:10
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    I would recommend rotating the heading as well - that way when a reader turns the book to examine the figure, they can read everything without having to rotate back - but I think that's ultimately an aesthetic choice. Consider asking the publisher for advice - presumably they have experts who can help you with this matter. – tonysdg Mar 29 '16 at 19:13
  • @tonysdg But the figure (even when rotated) does not take the entire height of A4 page. So I'd prefer NOT to put it on a separate page, but just make it a normal floating figure. This way I would rotate only the diagram itself, not its header – porton Mar 29 '16 at 19:26
  • Like I said - I think you need to ask the publisher for advice at this point. I personally think rotating just one or the other is confusing (part of the text is oriented one way, the other another?), but we're very rapidly moving into questions of personal aesthetics, and that's very much off-topic. If you're looking for what the standard is in your field (if such a thing exists), please modify your question and its tags to denote such. – tonysdg Mar 29 '16 at 19:31
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First, I do not consider your diagram is too big unless your layout has ridiculously big margins. That does not mean that you cannot improve its layout such that the type is bigger and thus easier to read.

What to do to make the diagram easier to read?

Your biggest problem is that the individual formulas are all horizontal and very close together, which forces you to make them rather small. Thus, I suggest to replace most of your straight lines by curved ones and rotate your formulas appropriately. Also, use more vertical space (which you should have). Finally, you can make your texts narrower by using more line breaks:

A quick sketch to illustrate this:

Sketch of suggested changes

Note that I increased the size of all formulas while maintaining the width.

Should I replace big formulas with numbers or letters to label the arrows with numbers or letters and describe the corresponding formulas below (or above) the diagram (so called, "legend")?

That sounds like a very bad idea to me. This way the reader would have to jump between diagram and legend all the time. The whole point of your diagram (as I understand it) is to have all these relation in one place. If you use a legend, you might as well skip the entire diagram and use text instead.

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    With tikz you can make the formulas curve to match the arrow curvature. – Anonymous Physicist Mar 30 '16 at 8:26
  • @AnonymousPhysicist: Though, I am skeptical whether that’s a good idea here. Anyway, I wouldn’t go through the trouble of reproducing the entire figure with TikZ or regular TeX – I just cut the formulas from the original figure. – Wrzlprmft Mar 30 '16 at 8:28
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My final solution is this (I labeled the arrows of diagrams with short labels, so that I can easily refer to a particular arrow in my proof.)

enter image description here

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