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What is the best tool to use for drawing vector pictures? For me and probably for many others, the answer is pretty obvious: Illustrator, or, maybe, Inkscape. At least that's what I thought when I was asked to draw about eight hundred diagrams for a physics textbook. Nothing exceptional, just a bunch of black and white illustrations with spheres, springs, pulleys, lenses and so on. By that time it was already known that the book was going to be made in LaTeX and I was given a number of MS Word documents with embedded images. Some of them were scanned pictures from other books, some were pencil drawings. Picturing days and nights of inkscaping this stuff made me feel dizzy, so soon I found myself fantasizing about a more automated solution. For some reason MetaPost became the focus of these fantasies.