Making figures with TikZ/pgfplots for scientific publishing in Biology

I am a heavy user of matplotlib but secretly I am in love with tikz (well who isn’t!). I’ve been training myself with tikz and pgfplots for few years now, by drawing (umm.. coding) figures for labnotes, journal club and student’s seminars. For my recent paper published in eLife, I used tikz/pgfplots to draw all my figures and the results were awesome!

The code and data used to generate these figures are available on my Github repository.

I also made a striking digest image for eLife using Tikz only code here. It turns out to be more suitable for XKCD than for eLife. Nonetheless, I am proud of it and hope that it makes the cut and get published in [eLife digest]( of my paper.


Tikz and pgfplots are great for making neat figures but keep in mind that they are not for faint hearted. You’d need lot of patience and time to get comfortable with them (just like vim editor). And just like the vim Jedi, you’d feel grateful that you put enough effort to become master of TikZ/pgfplots.

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