- destination differences for technical artwork, likely requiring varying resolution/font scaling
- data quantity often limited in some way by figure or computing software
- compatability questions (doc/latex/ppt/wiki/etc vs jpg/eps/pdf/other)
- assuring consistency (within doc, within student, within OLEG)
- smartly handling color
Graph/Plot Creation Best Practice
- Use a proper graphing program (eg, MATLAB, etc) that is capable of precise parameter settings.
- By default, it is important to try to originally create the graph and font sizes as the destination (eg, journal manuscript, dissertation, presentation, etc) requires. Normally, if a graph is properly prepared for a two-column manuscript, it is also very appropriate (directly transferrable) for presentation slides and practically all other destinations.
- By default, it is wise to choose a plotbox width (excluding axis labeling) of 3 inches, since most journals use a two-column format, with a single-column width of close to 3.4 inches wide.
- By default, it is good to use
- 1 pt linewidth for all plot lines,
- 10 pt fontsize for axis numbers and labels,
- 1.5 to 2.0 pt line width for data, and marker-size varies according to type of marker.
- Suggested default font is either Arial/Helevetica or the font of the manuscript.
- By default, simplify all data color and style formatting as much as possible (or that clearly makes the point).
- Suggest to use the following custom Matlab function before executing a plotting command (create a new script "formatting_pre.m" and copy/paste the below into it; then just run "formatting_pre" before your plot command):
function = formatting_pre(input1)
% syntax: formatting_pre( plot_size_in_inches )
% Will automatically set the current figure to have the proper plot and
% pagesize set by the optional "plot_size_in_inches". By default, if no
% argument is provided, then the plotsize will be 3x2 inches.
%--handling the default or input parameters
if nargin==0, WHsize = [3 2];
elseif size(input1)~=[1 2], error('Input argument is not 1x2 vector (eg, [3 2]) in inches');
else, WHsize = input1; end
%--formatting for overall aspects
set(gca,'units','inches','position',[0.6 0.5 WHsize]);
set(gcf,'paperPosition',[0.25 0.25 WHsize*1.5])
%--formatting for text aspects