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I would like to insert figures which were created with TikZ to my LaTeX document.

I suppose that if I create the TikZ figure inside the document, that wouldn't be a problem - I'd just play with the scale value which comes right after \begin{tikzpicture}. However, sometimes the figure is too complicated for it to be written explicitly in the LaTeX document, so I create the figure in a different file and use \input{foo.tikz}. The problem with that is that I don't see how to scale it to fit the rest of the document.

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up vote 20 down vote accepted

You can set the every picture locally in a group around the input file to set any option which should be used for the tikzpicture in that file.

\tikzset{every picture/.style={scale=0.3}}%

However, if you have other tikzpictures inside nodes of the main picture they will also be affected (twice I mean). In this case, \tikzset{every picture/.style={scale=0.3,every picture/.style={}}} might work better.

Note that scale scales only coordinates. Text is not affected. You might want to scale the whole picture all together. For this use \scalebox{<factor>}{\input{<file>}} or
\resizebox{<width>}{!}{\input{<file>}}. This both macros come from graphics which is loaded already by tikz.

Also have a look at the standalone class, especially the new \includestandalone[<options>]{<file>} from v1.0beta which will include subfiles and scales them if requested, like \includegraphics does for images.

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I actually much prefer this solution to mine. It can be used without modifying the tikz file. Will this override an explicitly set scale in the included file? Presumably not… – Seamus Dec 17 '11 at 14:23
@Seamus: AFAIK, the every picture style is executed before the optional settings. So you will end up with two scale settings. I think both are then applied, i.e. multiplied which each other. – Martin Scharrer Dec 17 '11 at 14:28
That did the trick. Thanks! Perhaps it's possible to scale it such as it fits the page's width? – Shmuel Dec 17 '11 at 16:27
@Shmuel: \resizebox{\textwidth}{!}{\input{<file>}} or \includestandalone[width=\textwidth]{<file>} with standalone v1.0beta1 – Martin Scharrer Dec 17 '11 at 17:31

If inside foo.tex you set the scale to \tkzscl or some other user macro, you can then set it like so:


This way, you can set the scale of the picture in the main file.

foo.tex should then look like this:

\draw (0,0) -- (1,0);

Or whatever…

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I may use that sometimes, thanks! – Shmuel Dec 17 '11 at 16:27

I know this has been answered, so here's a little trick to use these answers.

-1- Put this after your \usepackages and before your \begin{document}:


-2- Use it like this to create a figure:

\caption{some caption for the figure}  

In this way, the syntax is similar to \includegraphics[scale=...]{filename}

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instead of using the environment centering (which I do not know existed), use the command \centering and remove the enviroment. See center vs. centering. – zeroth Sep 22 '12 at 7:14
upvoted for usage of scalebox! – bkd.online Oct 19 '14 at 18:28

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