#### Overview of this book

LaTeX is a high-quality typesetting software and is very popular, especially among scientists. Its programming language gives you full control over every aspect of your documents, no matter how complex they are. LaTeX's huge amount of customizable templates and supporting packages cover most aspects of writing with embedded typographic expertise. With this book you will learn to leverage the capabilities of the latest document classes and explore the functionalities of the newest packages. The book starts with examples of common document types. It provides you with samples for tuning text design, using fonts, embedding images, and creating legible tables. Common document parts such as the bibliography, glossary, and index are covered, with LaTeX's modern approach.You will learn how to create excellent graphics directly within LaTeX, including diagrams and plots quickly and easily. Finally, you will discover how to use the new engines XeTeX and LuaTeX for advanced programming and calculating with LaTeX. The example-driven approach of this book is sure to increase your productivity.
Preface
Free Chapter
1. The Variety of Document Types
4. Working with Images
5. Beautiful Designs
6. Designing Tables
7. Contents, Indexes, and Bibliographies
8. Getting the Most out of the PDF
9. Creating Graphics
11. Science and Technology
12. Getting Support on the Internet
Index

## Plotting functions in two dimensions

Functions play an important role in mathematics. To visualize them to better understand their properties, so that we can see roots and extreme points, we can plot them in a coordinate system. In this recipe, we will see how to easily plot functions. First, let's print the polynomial function f(x) = x^3 - 5*x.

### How to do it...

We will use the pgfplots package, which is based on PGF/TikZ. We already used it in the previous chapter to draw various diagrams. Now it will plot a function for us. Follow these steps:

1. Start with a document class. For this recipe, we decide on the standalone class, which is great for creating single graphics with just a small margin, but you can choose the article class or another one as well.

\documentclass[border=10pt]{standalone}
2. Load the pgfplots package:

\usepackage{pgfplots}
3. Start the document and open a tikzpicture environment:

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
4. Begin an axis environment with centered axis lines:

    \begin{axis...