11 July 2006

xfig for the civilised world

I've been using xfig a lot whilst I've been writing up my thesis. For making technical, vector based drawings that are frugal and functional, it's been my friend for a long time (since first year uni!).

However, it's default startup options are enough to make you go completely potty. For example, the program starts using imperial measurements (seriously, who uses those any more?), US letter pagesize (same again) and has an infuriatingly crappy splash screen complete with a redundant, seizure inducing animation.

It finally drove me around the bend, so I took the time and read through the manpage and worked out a good set of startup options. If you want to start xfig with some shred of decency, go to your ~/.bashrc and add:

alias xfig='xfig -me -pap a4 -po -nosplash -startg 2'

This will start xfig with metric units, a4 paper size, in portrait mode, a 5mm grid and no splash screen!. My rant is now done.

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