Jon: Templates are your friend. I cannot stress this enough! Once you get a consistent format for taking, visualizing, and storing data, you can greatly streamline your process for preparing manuscripts, your thesis, and proposals. MATLAB is my preferred method for making plots because it is infinitely flexible and makes great graphics. MATLAB also has some very annoying aspects (I’m looking at you log-polar plot!). In addition to MATLAB, there are also simple ways to make templates for Excel and PowerPoint, as well as exporting hi-res figures in both vector (yay!) and bitmap (boo!) formats. Now that I have been outed by my students (post forthcoming on that story, btw…), I suspect several of them may end up here looking for information. The following three pages are from the original G.E.A.R.S. blog and have been copied over for convenience. Now that MATLAB versions have changed, I will update the templates shortly as things have become much easier and you don’t have to redraw multiple graphs to make things look nice. If you have some suggestions or are looking for pointers, feel free to reach out.

MATLAB Template List:

Setting the Figure Size

Printing to File

Setting the Axis Labels

Fixing MATLAB’s broken Legend Function