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I'm writing a review for a book at the moment, and I thought I'd be clever and show off what LaTeX is capable of by adding a x-out-of-y stars graphic. Tikz can do many things so I would have thought that a trick like this would be fairly trivial, however it seems that I cannot figure out a macro to draw the shapes at the right size, let alone fancy tricks such as half-filled stars or something similar. I think the code I have so far might be headed in the right direction:


  \node[star, star points=5, star point ratio=2.25, fill=black, draw](key) {S};  

I've tried to start by drawing a single star shape, but ideally I'd like to define like \starsranking{number}{total} that will output the appropriate shaded number of stars out of total. Is this doable? It doesn't sound particularly difficult.

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The star, star points=5, star point ratio=2.25 are your own options, aren't there? You should have a look at \foreach. You need two: one from 1 to \starpoints to make the filled stars and one for \starpoints+1 to 5. The half-filled stars should be do-able with an clipped fill-path. –  Martin Scharrer Feb 18 '11 at 9:28

5 Answers 5

up vote 32 down vote accepted

Here's the code for fully filled stars, now slightly improved thanks to Andrew Stacey's answer to the checkerboard question:


\tikzstyle{scorestars}=[star, star points=5, star point ratio=2.25, draw,inner sep=1.3pt,anchor=outer point 3]
    \foreach \i in {1,...,#2} {
    \draw (\i*1.75ex,0) node[name=star\i,scorestars,fill=\starcolor]  {};

\score{0}{5} A meagre result.

\score{4}{5} Much better

\score{5}{5} Perfect score!


ranking stars with tikz

And here's the much more elaborate, much more pointless, floating point scoring star macro (I'll leave the simple one in as well, it's a lot more usable):


\tikzstyle{scorestars}=[star, star points=5, star point ratio=2.25, draw,inner sep=0.15em,anchor=outer point 3]
  \foreach \i in {1,...,#2} {
    \draw (\i*1em,0) node[name=star\i,scorestars,fill=\starcolor]  {};
     \path [clip] ($(star\partstar.outer point 3)!(star\partstar.outer point 2)!(star\partstar.outer point 4)$) rectangle 
    ($(star\partstar.outer point 2 |- star\partstar.outer point 1)!\starpart!(star\partstar.outer point 1 -| star\partstar.outer point 5)$);
     \fill (\partstar*1em,0) node[scorestars,fill=yellow]  {};


\small\score{2}{5} A meagre result.

\Huge{\score{4.4}{5} Wooo!}


enter image description here

share|improve this answer
Like I said, very good (even better since I first said it). I didn't realize coordinates could be averaged with the ! like colors can. I had been going for a style approach so that you could type \node[scorestars,portion=0.25] and get 25% of the star filled. Looks like you could use the append after command key for that. –  Matthew Leingang Feb 18 '11 at 16:06
Blast, I've already voted for this before your edit. I think that the floating point version is fantastic. –  Loop Space Feb 18 '11 at 18:24
That is brilliant. Wow. –  zoqaeski Feb 20 '11 at 12:11
One question though: is it possible to make the stars scale to the text height? So if the text is \large the stars will also be correspondingly bigger? –  zoqaeski Feb 20 '11 at 12:18
@zoqaeski: Done! Just use relative lengths ("ex" and "em") for the size and spacing. –  Jake Feb 20 '11 at 20:06

enter image description here

Asymptote version stars.asy:

real sc=20;

picture score(real scoreMark=0,guide star=scale(sc)*unitcircle, int maxscore=5, 
  pen linePen=nullpen, pen bgPen=darkblue, pen scorePen=orange){
  picture pic;
  guide[] g;  
  for(int i=0;i<maxscore;++i){
  assert(maxscore>0 && scoreMark>=0 && scoreMark<=maxscore,"***** Wrong score.");
  return pic;

guide star;
pair p;
for(int i=0;i<5;++i){



To get a standalone stars.pdf run asy -f pdf stars.asy.

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+1. Very nice!!! –  please stop stalking Apr 14 '13 at 16:32

I have written a package for ConTeXt that draws X out of Y graphics. It is primarily meant to draw numbers in presentations. It offers stars as one of the options:

enter image description here





  \item \usevisualcounter[n=1, last=5]{stars} That's appalling!
  \item \usevisualcounter[n=2, last=5]{stars} A meagre result.
  \item \usevisualcounter[n=4, last=5]{stars} Woo!

See documentation for more details.

As the primary purpose of this module is to display page numbers, it does not support fractional values.

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With PSTricks.

enter image description here

\def\LoadPSVars{\pstVerb{/ptcm {\pst@number\psunit div} bind def}}

    \xdef\points{}% cleaning
    \multido{\iR=0+72,\ir=36+72}{5}{\xdef\points{\points (10pt;\iR)(5pt;\ir)}}

\def\Rating#1{% #1: percentage
        \psframe*[linecolor=yellow](11pt,-11pt)(!#1 11 add ptcm 11 ptcm)

    \item \Rating{100} PSTricks
    \item \Rating{50} Asymptote
    \item \Rating{20} Metapost
    \item \Rating{5} TikZ


  • \rput will not work inside \pscustom. Use \translate instead!
  • standalone discards my ptcm operator defined in the preamble, so I have to load it manually inside pspicture. It is sad!
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TikZ, I am sorry. It is just an example! –  please stop stalking Apr 14 '13 at 10:02

Jake's answer is very good. Here's the extra half star:

\node[scorestars,fill=gray] {};
\path node[scorestars,fill=yellow] (s) {} [clip] (s.south west) rectangle (s.north);
share|improve this answer
... and here's half a vote. Oh, wait, they don't come in half steps yet so you'll have to have a whole one. (Incidentally, why isn't your name in the list of moderator candidates?) –  Loop Space Feb 18 '11 at 13:07
@Matthew: Can you please tell a TikZ noob how to include this into Jake's code? –  Hendrik Vogt Feb 18 '11 at 13:15
@Andrew: LOL. I only gave half an answer hoping that Jake could run with it and improve his answer. I already spent an hour trying to make a customizable portion of the star filled so I think I should quit for now. –  Matthew Leingang Feb 18 '11 at 13:44
@Matthew: Consider yourself asked. –  Loop Space Feb 18 '11 at 13:47
@Jake: True that. look at the bright side. You've got 70 rep so far out of it. That and $2.25 will buy you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. –  Matthew Leingang Feb 18 '11 at 16:00

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