How do you design and manage graphs and illustrations in your posts, that cannot be done by mathjax?

For example, for graphs, I have begun using Erdos (demo), an interface to Google Charts API for rendering graphviz (I'd preveiously used this graphviz-dev tool, but the server periodically fails). Are there any other such gems (both online or offline)? What about doodling tools?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I've used Mathematica, it's pretty fast to draw graphs and say highlight or color vertices or edges. $\endgroup$
    – Juho
    Oct 9, 2013 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ One thing to always keep in mind is visual impairments; don't use color alone to distinguish elements of your graphics! If in doubt, inspect your graphic with a simulator, e.g. this one. $\endgroup$
    – Raphael Mod
    Mar 20, 2014 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Raphael ah thanks, I was looking for a tool like that recently. $\endgroup$
    – Realz Slaw
    Mar 20, 2014 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ asked about misc graph pkgs on the new Software Recommendations site but it got closed quickly. maybe someone else can ask better $\endgroup$
    – vzn
    Mar 24, 2014 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


I have come to rely quite heavily on TikZ, a powerful graphical library for LaTeX.

I write code like

%p% \usetikzlibrary{positioning}
  \node[draw, circle] (s) at (00,15) {$s$};
  \node[draw, circle] (a) at (15,15) {$a$};
  \node[draw, circle] (b) at (15,00) {$b$};
  \node[draw, circle] (t) at (00,00) {$t$};

  \path[->] (s) edge node {$1$} (a)
            (s) edge node {$2$} (t)
            (a) edge node {$1$} (b)
            (b) edge node {$1$} (t);

in a file, translate it with tikz2png and upload to SE:

TikZ has quite a learning curve but is worth the effort (if you use it to write articles or RPG material, too). Don't try anything without the manual. In case of trouble, tex.SE is by far the best resource, both in terms of available knowledge and responses to new questions.


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