People undoubtedly use a variety of programs to draw diagrams for physics, but I am not familiar with many of them. I usually hand-draw things in GIMP. GIMP is powerful in some regards, but it's time consuming to do things like draw circles or arrows because I make them from more primitive tools. It is also difficult to be precise.
I know some people use LaTeX, but am not sure how versatile or easy it is. The only other tools I know are Microsoft Paint and the tools built into Microsoft Office.
Which tools are commonly used? What are their good and bad points (features, ease of use, portability, etc.)?
I am looking for a tool with flexibility and minimal learning curve/development time. I would like to hand-draw and to drag-and-drop pre-made shapes, but I also want to specify the locations of curves and shapes with equations when I want better precision. Some minimal programming functionality would also be nice (i.e. the ability to run through a loop that draws a series of lines with a varying parameter).
Please recommend a few pieces of software if they're good for different situations.