DIA + Lyx

Before I discover DIA, I used Microsoft Visio for schematic drawing to be included into my documents. The schematic drawn has to be exported into a graphic file, in which I prefer .png format. Then only it can be included in .tex document as a graphic.
Then I found DIA. You can search the web for more info on the software itself. In short, it is an open source software Lyx as well. What I found to be helpful is that, DIA has an extension to convert .dia files, where you save the schematic drawing, into graphic files in the format of .png which can be called directly by Lyx.
What I have to do is, draw whatever schematic that I want, save it in .dia format. Then in Lyx, insert the graphic as usual. At the graphic file name field, insert the .dia file name. Lyx will treat that as the graphic file where you can resize etc. similar to any graphic files included using the method. 
Another setting to be done is that to let Lyx know where to fine the DIA extension to convert .dia file to .png file so that Lyx can call it upon generating final document. The setting can be found under menu Tools > Preferences and under File Handling > Converters tab. Under From format pulldown menu, search for DIA and under To format pulldown menu, search for PNG. In Converter field, insert this
dia -e $$o -t png $$i

and click Add button. That is it. Now you can use .dia file directly to include graphic into you document. Happy trying. See you soon.

Diagramming Applications

This post answers the question

So how do I create high-resolution line drawings for use in LaTeX? Journal publishers request PDF or EPS with at least 800dpi.

Najmi’s post on Drawing diagram; the cryptic way covered tikz, ditaa and graphviz. (I myself swear by tikz.) However these may be too geeky for most people’s tastes. So here’s a list of free, open source, GUI-based diagramming applications that can produce PDF or EPS files.

  • OpenOffice Draw is a diagramming/drawing program that can save to PDF format. It’ a part of the OpenOffice suite. Personally I find it a bit clunky, but if you already have OpenOffice and don’t want to install new programs, it’ a good choice. Available on Linux and Windows. Mac users should look for NeoOffice instead.
  • Dia is an old favorite among Linux users, but some people might think it looks a bit rough. It does a very good job, though, with lots of elements and icons for UML diagrams, networking diagrams, ciruits, etc, etc etc. Dia supports saving to EPS files, and is available for Linux, Windows and Mac.
  • yEd. You know, I actually like yEd. A lot. The interface is easy to use, and there are also elements for UML, “people”, machines and more — in colour. (There’s even an iPod icon!) The output it produces does look more modern and polished then Dia. yEd supports saving to SVG, EPS and PDF, and is available on Linux, Windows and Mac.