Creating Images with PicTex

Pictex is a package created for the TeX document preparation system. Its main goal is to allow easy preparation of figures using the TeX language for inclusion on technical documents.

TeX is a document preparation system created by Donald Knuth from Stanford University. It has as its main strengths the high quality of the output, which is created with mathematical precision, from a language that describes how the document will by typeset on the page.

The TeX language is ideal to create technical documents because it allow a separation between content and formatting. Content is entered almost as a normal text file. Formatting, on the other hand, is encoded using macros, that can be created in the TeX language.

Pictex is just another set of macros created in Tex to drive the creation of images. Images described by Pictex are composed out of simple elements, such as lines, rectangles, polygons, ellipses, and splines. These elements can be created automatically using the language in order to compose diagrams and other kinds of figures.

The Pictex macro set was created by Michael Wichura, who has also contributed a manual (written in TeX, or course). Other than that, there is little documentation on Pictex, however it is not difficult to grasp how it works based on the few examples provided in the documentation.

The general idea is to use TeX to create lines and other graphical shapes. The language is also used to provide the parameters of the output. Finally, one can use commands such as \put to define the locations where these elements will be displayed.

Tags: drawing, shapes, documents, technical, images, pictex, Tex
Article created on 2010-08-18 10:54:34

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