1. Introduction

Skencil (formally Sketch) is a vector graphics illustration program for unix-like systems with a much more modern interface than the classic xfig. The Sketch LaTeX Plugin allows LaTeX text or equations to be inserted into a Skencil document as native text objects. The LaTeX source may then be modified at any time, with the changes reflected in the document.

The primary objective is to facilitate labelling of diagrams with equations, where the diagram is to be included into a LaTeX document. However, it is also suitable for paragraph text. The output is suitable for use with both latex/dvips and pdftex.

Illustrations created using this plugin may be written to a combined eps/epstex set of files, where the LaTeX portion is included directly into LaTeX in the epstex file. Export to a standard postscript file is also supported, with some mild limitations..

Latest Version: Released 23 June 2005, Contains modifications to allow pstoedit v3.40 to be used, albeit in a bug-compatibility mode. I have submitted a fix for the bug to the pstoedit maintainer, so hopefully SketchLaTeX will work with full capability with the next version of pstoedit. For now, pstoedit v3.33 is recommended.

Update: Released 13 May 2005, Joel Biddier's skLaTeX has inspired a change in the way SketchLaTeX works. With this release, the imported text is no longer rendered as text in Skencil, but as curves, removing all of the font issues. Now computer-modern fonts no longer need to be installed. There is a loss of quality in preview, but equations still print nicely.

Note: although functional, this plugin is not complete yet. Comment, suggestions and fixes are welcome! (


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