Praise for TikZ/PGF

I'm a recent convert to (and big fan of) TikZ/PGF.

PGF is a “backend-independent” graphics layer for TeX; it can work with all of the backends (dvi, pdf, postscript, etc). It plays a role in TeX similar to the role of the “postscript page model” in PDF.

TikZ is a human-friendly syntax for PGF; it's sort of like the best parts of Metapost and PSTricks, with much better integration into the surrounding text (the inline \tikz command is really handy – sparklines are easy now!).

Here's a tutorial ( pdf, videos) that got me off the ground; after that I was ready to jump in to the the  manual, which is absolutely top-notch. Be sure to check out the gallery!

There's a great  tutorial on commutative diagrams (and a  comparison to other commutative diagram packages).

Even if you don't do graphics much, it's worth learning if only for the great \foreach command it comes with. Finally, a usable “for loop” for TeX. It only took 40 years…