Utilities for Generating Figures
IPE is a great, all-purpose figure creation tool.
Tips for Usage
Install on Mac OS
with 'sudo ports install ipe'
At first the interface seems really unintuitive. Be sure to take time to understand the grid snapping, if you're free-drawing your shapes you're doing it wrong, snap everything to a grid.
Use a mouse.
Save files in a .eps format to enable text rotations and LaTeX formatting. The native format doesn't do a great job of supporting this.
Text is generated when you save the file, press Command+S often to see text refreshed. It's generated using LaTeX so make sure you have tex installed.
Take some time to read the manual, it helped me out a ton!
Often seen in laboratories in the late 90's, TGIF has a warm interface that will bring back fond memories of the early 90s. I would not recommend it on your worst enemies.