Skills Earth Sciences

Creating figures

Learning outcomes:

After this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Follow the steps required to design a good scientific figure
  • Use colour appropriately in your figures
  • Make an informed decision on what software to use to create your figure

In this chapter, you will find guidelines for creating figures, an overview of useful software and what figure types to use it for, and specific information on the use of colour. This chapter does not contain tutorials for creating figures using certain software or programs. Many of such tutorials can be found online. If you are looking for a tutorial on making graphs in Excel, take a look at the Excel module. For a tutorial on creating graphs in Python using the matplotlib and seaborn libraries, see the Programming module.

The guidelines in this chapter are general. If you are looking for guidelines specifically for posters or infographics, we recommend consulting chapter 3 in the guide for making posters and infographics that was made by Elisabeth Addink and Tessa Deggeler.