Which software do you use to design figures?

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R Bishop
R Bishop's picture
Which software do you use to design figures?

Please tell us which software you use to build figures for manuscripts. If you want to add others just reply below and I will add them

marcus muench
marcus muench's picture
Aabel for charting numerical

Aabel for charting numerical data.
FlowJo for flow cytometry data analysis and graphing.
iVision for microscopy data, which are stored and cataloged in iPhoto.
Individual charts and pictures are put together in OmniGraffle with an occasional assist by Graphics Converter.

AUen's picture
I use Prism for making graphs

I use Prism for making graphs. Mostly I would use Illustrator or Keynote for making figures. I have also started to use a program called VectorDesigner for some figures. I like it since it has a much smaller footprint than Illustrator. I used to use FreeHand and really liked but I have been moving away from it since Adobe bought Macromedia.

ryan_m's picture
I use powerpoint for putting

I use powerpoint for putting together images from various sources. However I use R for most of my graphing needs, or failing that, Numbers.


RLS's picture
The survey only allows one

The survey only allows one answer. I use Macromedia Freehand or Adobe Illustrator to make figures for papers but use Powerpoint for lab meetings and other presentations. I use either Kaleidagraph or Graphpad prism to make graphs for incorporating into figures.

Bettye's picture
I use Adobe Photoshop and

I use Adobe Photoshop and illustrator, MS Excel for graphs (I used to use a program called Statview, when I actually worked in the lab... but I'm probably dating myself!). I have used Powerpoint to make 4ftx3ft posters, but the resolution is not so great.

Fraser Moss
Fraser Moss's picture
Origin Lab - Origin for plots

Origin Lab - Origin for plots/graphs and export them as TIFFs
Image J / Photoshop for images

Glue it all together in Photoshop/Powerpoint depending on final required resolution and the PDF the figs in Acrobat.

Omai's picture
Graphs - Prism

Graphs - Prism
Images - Photoshop
Canvas to "glue it all together."

I like canvas because it allows you to take apart an imported graph or picture and make detailed changes.
That being said, you can probably do the same thing in illustrator. In truth, I use canvas cause that is the software I was trained on in grad school. I feel like that is a common experience.


samm's picture
FloJo and FCSExpress for FACS

FloJo and FCSExpress for FACS
Excel and Prism for graphs
Image J/Irfanview/Photoshop/Metamorph and a variety of 'scope specific software for images
Discover 1 for gels
Poerpoint/Keynote to put it all together followed by Acrobat. Haven't really got the hang of Illustrator.

saswati1's picture
Photoshop: to adjust figues

Photoshop: to adjust figues
Microsoft excel: to generate bar graphs and perform t tests
Microsoft Word, power point:

mchinmoyee's picture
Sigma Plot - to plot graphs

Sigma Plot - to plot graphs
Sigma Stats - for statistics
Adobe Photoshop & Canvas & MS power point for making & arranging figure.

cfish's picture
Mostly powerpoint and excel

Mostly powerpoint and excel for my needs.

A Timmer
A Timmer's picture
Depending on the experiment I

Depending on the experiment I graph my data mostly in Excel, but use GraphPad Prism for Kaplan-Meyer survival curves. But then I polish up everything in Power Point and make the lines thicker and fonts bigger.

genius_nitin's picture
Photoshop for pictures

Photoshop for pictures

Microsoft Excel for Graphs & Charts

qiang wang
qiang wang's picture
both Sigmaplot and Origin for

both Sigmaplot and Origin for graphs

and powerpoint as organizer when prep for a manuscript

Shubhangi's picture
Microsoft excel for graphs,

Microsoft excel for graphs, statistical analysis, compilation of results . I also like softmax pro from molecular devices for being user friendly.

g a
g a's picture


mahi's picture
please use sigma state and

please use sigma state and sigma plot for plotting the graph

radha1829's picture


Rolando's picture
Illustrator for figures

Illustrator for figures prefered, but it is quite overloaded these days, but has most important functions. Prism for charts. Photoshop for images. Powerpoint for presentations.

g a
g a's picture
Cell draw is a very good

Cell draw is a very good software. More importantly, a number of biological molecules and different cell types are already incorporated in it.

Biju's picture
Hi Bishop

Hi Bishop
I use prism for generating  figures especially bar graphs and then export to word file.Manuscript is prepared using MS word and referencing is done by manual typing.