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Looking for a good scientific drawing software

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a good 2D drawing (vector) tool for scientific diagrams. I tried the following tools, and I'm not yet satisfied with them :

- Illustrator (WAY too big for what I need. Too complicated to use).
- Intaglio (almost right, but a bit buggy and the interface is clumsy).
- VectorDesigner(can't handle LaTeX equations from LaTeXit in PDF form, and the arrow heads are way too limited).
- LineForm (a bit buggy. Can handle LaTeX equations very well, but the arrow heads are limited. Tends to crash...).

What drawing software do you suggest for profesionnal looking technical drawing (scientific diagrams, schematics, physics drawing) ? It needs to handle LaTeX equations (at least from LaTeXit, as PDF forms), and have a good choice of arrows heads. Should import and edit PDF documents.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

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Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

I'm looking for a good 2D drawing (vector) tool for scientific diagrams. I tried the following tools, and I'm not yet satisfied with them :

...

Do you want a generalized vector graphics editor or do you want a dedicated diagram editor? If you want a generalized vector graphics editor, then you will be hard pressed to find a better application than Easy Draw 4.0. If you want a diagram editor, then OmniGraffle Pro 5.3 is your best bet.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Do you want a generalized vector graphics editor or do you want a dedicated diagram editor?

I need a general drawing program for all kind of scientific drawings (schematics, illustrations with arrows, math expressions, etc).

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #4 of 12
Haven't used it in a while but there is an app called Concept Draw...

http://www.conceptdraw.com/products/office/whatis.php

Omngraffle is nice.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I just tried EazyDraw, and I don't think it's an "easy" drawing tool. Its interface is extremely heavy and confusing. It's handling LaTeXit math expressions very well, though. However, editing a PDF illustration is a real pain in the butt.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #6 of 12
Last month I decided to give a few drawing apps a trial, as it had been a while (until recently, I've had Illustrator... didn't install it on my new iMac, though). Want something to replace it, but it will only be used from time to time and needs to be easy to use and inexpensive. Have already plunked plenty of cash into apps.

Didn't like Easy Draw for the same reason: it wasn't so easy and user-friendly.
Intaglio was deleted almost as soon as I opened it for the first time; almost didn't download it anyways after looking at the screenshots.

Can't remember the other two or so I tried, but nothing fit the bill.

Most of my drawing is hand-sketches and I have a nice app or two for those, but they won't do what you're looking for.

Really is a bummer that there just are any "nice" and "easy" vector apps out there that don't cost a bundle.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
To me, the cost isn't a problem. I just want a "proper tool" to do scientific drawings (as I said, with nice arrows, maths expressions from other tools, and PDF editing capabilities).

A long time ago, under System 7 on my good old Mac IIci, I was using FreeHand 3, which was perfect at that time (maths expressions were from the old Expressionist). Now, I'm unable to find an equivalent tool under OS X. WTF !!

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #8 of 12
How about Omnigraffle plus this?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kali View Post

I just tried EazyDraw, and I don't think it's an "easy" drawing tool. Its interface is extremely heavy and confusing. It's handling LaTeXit math expressions very well, though. However, editing a PDF illustration is a real pain in the butt.

I don't own a license for Eazy Draw, but it appears to have everything that you asked for--and a few things that you did not ask for. Of the latter, are mathematically-defined curves. Of the former, it includes an arrow editor.

As for its ability to edit PDFs, my guess is that it does about as good as can be done. Of the many things that you need to understand about PDFs is they were never intended to be edited. PDFs are also not object oriented, which can often turn even minor single modifications into disasters. My experience with PDF's sibling format, ESPF, is much the same for much the same reason. PDF is a distribution format, not a source format. If you want to edit PDFs, then you are better served by editing a source file and then printing [or converting] it to PDF. If you want to edit PDFs from other authors, then you just have to do the best you can.

I am in much the same position as you. It is one reason that I continue to use MacOS X 10.4 on PPC-based Macs. This allows me to continue to run Canvas X natively. It runs via Rosetta on Intel-based Macs on MacOS X 10.6, but not at all on Lion. It is frustrating that I had more better choices in 1991 than I have now in 2011, but I digress....

At this level, nobody is going to pre-chew your food. Put on your big-boy pants, jump into this with both feet, and get to work. If you are unwilling to learn a new application, then you should hire a friend or colleague who is willing to learn.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

As for its ability to edit PDFs, my guess is that ...

The problem I have with PDF is this : I already have several hundreds of nice figures that I've done myself using some old software (notably FreeHand 3). Under OS X Tiger on my now defunct PPC G5 tower, I converted them all to PDF (the only way I had to save my pictures after I migrated to OS X from System 7), and I can edit them all easily with Intaglio under OS X Snow Leopard on my Intel Macs. This is fine, but Intaglio has many limitations or drawbacks.

I should be able to do the same with other drawing apps. Currently, it's a pain in the butt to edit them with EazyDraw. LineForm can do it easily, as Intaglio, but it's a bit buggy and easy to crash, and its arrows are very limited.

EazyDraw is so clumsy and heavy to use, it's not even funny. I hate its interface. I don't see myself to work on complicted physics pictures with that tool, it would be too frustrating.

If there's no fun to work on a computer, I would prefer to draw the figure by hand and then scan it and paste it into my document, instead of drawing it with a piece of crap software !

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
post #11 of 12
Have you tried PixelMator? It's quite nice!
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveLife View Post

Have you tried PixelMator? It's quite nice!

Duh ! PixelMator isn't a vectorial app. It's a paint program.

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply

Mac mini 2.53 GHz, 4 GB, NVidia's 9400M.
13" MacBook Pro 2.66 GHz, 8 GB, NVidia's 320M.
OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8

Reply
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