I am trying to run the TikZ example on http://www.texample.net/tikz/examples/scientific-interactions/ but I am running into some problems.

I can run the simpler example http://www.texample.net/tikz/examples/computer-science-mindmap/ which creates a similar map, suggesting that I have the necessary libraries installed.

I receive an error on the line

  level 1 concept/.append style={level distance=130,sibling angle=30},
  extra concept/.append style={color=blue!50,text=black}]

I am running a standard installation of Miktex on Windows.

The error I get is

! Package tikz Error: I do not know what to do with the option ''level 1       
concept/.append style={level distance=130,sibling angle=30}''.

Sorry that I could not make the question a bit more general, but I really like this application of TikZ but am unfamiliar with the general syntax of the package.

  • 3
    You really need to tell us what error you are getting. Also what is your version number of MikTeX and when did you last update it? You might want to add \listfiles in the document and have a look on the version of PGF/TikZ. I bet your MikTeX installation is simply to old. Feb 10, 2011 at 12:34
  • 1
    It's fine if the question is specific to your case (but please also include the error message).
    – Caramdir
    Feb 10, 2011 at 16:03
  • Thanks! I will remember this next time. It is of course possible that this is the case but I installed it less than a year ago, and the example in question is from April 2009. Have edited the q with error information.
    – Carl Johan
    Feb 11, 2011 at 10:59
  • I have the same problem. I am working in a computer with Fedora 16 :S
    – user11254
    Jan 29, 2012 at 7:40

1 Answer 1


This is the standard "Unknown Option" error of TikZ. The funny thing is that it does think the whole expression

level 1 concept/.append style={level distance=130,sibling angle=30}

is an option. Normally it should only complain about 'level 1 concept' is unknown, or actually not at all because only a style should be appended - the options should not yet be executed.

The file compiles fine with TikZ/PGF 2.10 with an freshly updated TeXLive 2010, which makes me believe this is an issue with your MikTeX installation.

Here some steps you should try:

  • Make sure you are running the newest version of MikTeX, i.e. v2.9

  • Update your package, especially TikZ/PGF, latest version is 2.10.

  • Make sure that you don't have old TikZ/PGF package files lying around in your local texmf tree (I think C:\localtexmf\ with MikTeX).

  • (Just an idea) Try to change the order of the options, e.g. put mindmap last, etc..

  • Thanks. You are right in that I simply thought the version is newer than it was. Unfortunately I can't install a new version of Miktex that easily due to some workstation limitations - will just try it at home and see how useful it is first.
    – Carl Johan
    Feb 11, 2011 at 14:00
  • @Carl: You should be able to update TikZ/PGF using the MikTeX package manager without updating MikTeX. Keep in mind that MikTeX is 'just' a distribution. The packages are quite independent from it. Feb 11, 2011 at 14:25

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