What is the simplest, most straightforward package for draw simple geometrical 2D sketches that involve circles, straight lines and vectors, for a professional mathematical Tex-made document? I am using Microsoft Windows.

The following sketch was made in Microsoft Word, but I need to make it more precise (ie. make right angles actually look like right angles, circles perfectly circular, and so on).

enter image description here


  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Geogebra is easy to learn and provides good quality pictures - can be exported as pdf. It is free! $\endgroup$
    – user348749
    Jul 8, 2016 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ I'm affiliated with Cinderella, and did a lot of examples here on MSE using that [1,2,3,4,5,6]. If you like the look, try it out. It's free, too (though not open source) and supports exporting to PDF as well. Creating constructions is fairly intuitive, though placing arrows and labels may require multiple steps. $\endgroup$
    – MvG
    Jul 8, 2016 at 15:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Muralidharan: According to Goegebra's license, it is free for non-commercial use only. A professional document, as mentioned by the author, may well be intended for a book or similar. That would make it commercial (unless excepted as an academic book?), and hence non-free. I know that at least one publisher is moving away from Geogebra-generated illustrations in their books for this specific reason. I'm no lawyer, so depending on situation you might want some legal advice on this before proceeding. Or make sure to only use the free GPL code. $\endgroup$
    – MvG
    Jul 8, 2016 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Since you're working in TeX-land, Tikz would be appropriate. The downside, though, is that Tikz has a steep learning curve, so would be most appropriate if you were going to be producing lots of diagrams. $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2016 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Some suggestions:

  • I have used Adobe Illustrator for publication quality diagrams like this. The free alternative to it is Inkscape. When I needed nice formulas pasted in there, I simply exported eps or png from a latex editor (e.g. this one) and placed them in the figure.

  • I also strongly recommend TikZ, since you don't have to export, re-embed into other programs, etc... And check out these examples! Plus TikZ is fun and pleasant to use.

  • Not for the faint-hearted, but you could use something like Cairo. Or just go the whole way and use OpenGL but that's probably overkill.


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