June 20, 2007 10:08 AM Subscribe

Are there any programs that allow one to draw graphs (plots/charts) using a visual interface?

I'd like to draw some graphs (i.e. on a cartesian plane) to demonstrate some concepts visually in presentations. My plots would be of fairly simple functions -- linear, sinusoidal, exponential, polynomial, logistic, etc.. I know there are a million programs that allow one to enter functions and graph them using a command line (such as Mathematica), but I'd like to do this visually, so that I could easily, say, drag a function onto my chart, stretch/compress/shift it, add in labels and dotted lines, and make functions intersect where I want them to. Think of the types of diagrams you see in an introductory economics textbook; those are the types of diagrams I want to make. Any ideas?
posted by lunchbox to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I'd like to draw some graphs (i.e. on a cartesian plane) to demonstrate some concepts visually in presentations. My plots would be of fairly simple functions -- linear, sinusoidal, exponential, polynomial, logistic, etc.. I know there are a million programs that allow one to enter functions and graph them using a command line (such as Mathematica), but I'd like to do this visually, so that I could easily, say, drag a function onto my chart, stretch/compress/shift it, add in labels and dotted lines, and make functions intersect where I want them to. Think of the types of diagrams you see in an introductory economics textbook; those are the types of diagrams I want to make. Any ideas?

The program you are describing is called Graph Sketcher.

posted by mr_roboto at 11:26 AM on June 20, 2007

posted by mr_roboto at 11:26 AM on June 20, 2007

Graph Sketcher is exactly the kind of program I'm looking for -- now, is there anything like that for Windows?

posted by lunchbox at 1:13 PM on June 20, 2007

posted by lunchbox at 1:13 PM on June 20, 2007

What do you specifically need that you can't get from Paint (start menu, accesories, paint) or Office Drawing tools (toolbar in Word, Powerpoint, etc.)? They can do everything you list, but they aren't the most user-friendly, so you might not see how. I am sure that Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw could do exactly what you want, whatever it is, but that would be expensive overkill. Corel Essentials is a slightly more affordable option.

posted by Eringatang at 2:57 PM on June 20, 2007

posted by Eringatang at 2:57 PM on June 20, 2007

This thread is closed to new comments.

How about plotting the basic curve in a maths program, then bringing it into a regular drawing program (like Illustrator) as a vector. Then you can stretch it and move it around to your heart's content.

posted by chrismear at 11:01 AM on June 20, 2007