TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just want to learn how to make graphics in TeX. I have looked through this site and tried some TeX source file. But I am confused by the TikZ and tkz packages. Do they have any relation or are they completely different?

In my daily work, I draw 2D graphics. It is about general arrangement of buildings. For example:


All the lines are axis lines. Columns are placed at the intersection. Beams are placed at all the lines. Beam lines will be offset to both side based on the axis line. For this kind of graphics, which package is the best choice?

share|improve this question
Welcome to tex.sx! A tip: If you indent lines by 4 spaces, then they are marked as a code sample. You can also highlight the code and click the "code" button (with "101010" on it). – Caramdir Feb 8 '11 at 3:10

One of the most popular graphics bundles is PGF, which comes with a user-friedly syntax layer called TikZ. There are also a number of packages that all start with tkz as a prefix. For example tkz-2d. You can see many examples at texample

If these are suitable for what you are looking to produce you need to experiment and decide, although for building plans, perhaps you are better off staying with an application such as Autocad and importing pdfs in your TeX/LaTeX document.

share|improve this answer
i produce drawing by Autocad(i am good at Autocad very much). on the other hand, i must generate static calculation sheet. for this, i make a front end(by C language) to generate tex source file. in my calculation sheet, there are some graphics. i can make these graphics in Autocad then include them in tex. but i do want to finish all the job in my own front end. this is why i want one graphics package for tex. for tikz and tkz, do they have any relation? – warem Feb 8 '11 at 2:42
@warem yes any package with a tkz prefix uses tikz. For small diagrams like what you want to use in your calculation sheets tikz is ideal. Start from tug.ctan.org/tex-archive/graphics/pgf. – Yiannis Lazarides Feb 8 '11 at 2:49
@Yiannis Lazarides: does it mean if i install tikz package, i can also use tkz package? – warem Feb 8 '11 at 3:03
Better, start by reading the first and third tutorial of the tikz manual (TikZ should already be installed with your TeX distribution). They cover the material that you are most likely to need. – Caramdir Feb 8 '11 at 3:05
@warem: Yes, you should be able to use both. However, there is no need to install them by hand. Both are included in recent TeX distributions. Use the package manager of your TeX distribution for installing them (if they aren't already). – Caramdir Feb 8 '11 at 3:07

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.