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In xfig, figures may be drawn using objects such as circles, boxes, lines, spline curves, text, etc. It is also possible to import images in formats such as GIF, JPEG, EPSF (PostScript), etc. Those objects can be created, deleted, moved or modified. Attributes such as colors or line styles can be selected from various options. For text, various fonts are available. Text can also include Latin-1 characters such as ``'' or ``''.
Here is a screen image of xfig. Click on the image below for larger version (77k).
And here are some example figures extracted from the xfig distribution. Click on them to see a larger version.
There are some applications which can produce output in the Fig format. For example, xfig doesn't have a facility to create graphs, but tools such as gnuplot or xgraph can create graphs and export them in Fig format. Even if your favorite application can't generate output for xfig, tools such as pstoedit or hp2xx may allow you to read and edit those figures with xfig. If you want to import images into the figure but you don't need to edit the image itself (like this example), it is also possible to import images in formats such as GIF, JPEG, EPSF (PostScript), etc.
Most operation are performed using the mouse, but some operations may also be performed using keyboard accelerators (shortcuts). Use of a three-button mouse is recommended, but it is also possible to use a two-button mouse (if you have a two-button mouse and your X server doesn't emulate a three-button mouse, press the Meta (or Alt) key and right mouse button together to simulate mouse button 2). Normally, mouse buttons 1 to 3 are assigned to the left, middle, and right buttons respectively.
xfig 3.2.X and fig2dev 3.2.X include code for internationalization, it allows use of local characters (e.g., Japanese) in xfig. It uses standard internationalization (I18N) mechanism of X11R5, and known to work for Japanese and Korean at this time. Although they are not included in the official release, it may possible to use some other languages such as Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, etc., too. See Internationalization about this.
xfig [ options... ] [ filename ]options are command line options which may be used to customize xfig. It is also possible to use X resources instead of specifying command line options each time when starting xfig.
If filename is given, the file will be loaded when xfig is started.