# How to draw commutative diagrams?

Can anyone help me in giving commands for commutative diagrams in LaTeX ? It doesn't seem to appear properly in the LaTeX guides that I have. A command for a simple triangular diagram with arrows associated to maps would be good enough, or maybe some appropriate reference.

## 2 Answers

For simple and complex diagrams, I'd recommend tikz-cd. If you are not comfortable with using the macros, there is also a web-based GUI editor at https://tikzcd.yichuanshen.de/. The following example can be viewed in the editor under this link (click).

Let's see an easy triangular diagram.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz-cd}
\begin{document}
$\begin{tikzcd} A \arrow{r}{f} \arrow[swap]{dr}{g\circ f} & B \arrow{d}{g} \\ & C \end{tikzcd}$
\end{document}


An arrow takes as argument the "steps" where it has to go: r stands for "right", d stands for "down"; also u stands for "up" and l for "left".

A similar syntax is available with Xy-pic.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[all,cmtip]{xy}
\begin{document}
$\xymatrix{ A \ar[r]^{f} \ar[dr]_{g\circ f} & B \ar[d]^{g} \\ & C }$
\end{document}


Note how the labels are positioned: ^ means above the arrow, _ means below; above and below are with respect to the direction of the arrow: rotate it counterclockwise until it points from left to right.

As you see, the results are pretty much alike. While I used to use Xy-pic, I'm now more convinced that tikz-cd can be better, as it relies on the powerful TikZ/PGF library.

• tikz-cd is significantly better. It is more flexible and powerful, and just compare the hooked arrows with those of xy-pic. Feb 18, 2016 at 17:05
• @Gaussler I fully agree! I have used Xy-pic quite extensively, with good results, but tikz-cd is much more powerful and intuitive. You won't find a single hook arrow in my older diagrams. ;-) Feb 18, 2016 at 17:09
• A \arrow{rr}{f} \arrow[swap]{dr}{g\circ f} && B \arrow{dl}{g} \\ & C (you may have to adjust the column sep) Feb 15, 2017 at 21:50
• @DavidWarrenKatz Of course you can: \colorbox{red}{\xymatrix{...}} Mar 19, 2020 at 17:00
• The tikzcd GUI editor is fantastic! Thank you. Apr 27, 2021 at 0:03

Another way is to use the psmatrix environment, from pst-node. The objects are first described as nodes in a matrix, then the arrows are described. In this description, nodes can be given a name, or are described by their pair of indices i, j in the matrix. See documentation of pst-node for details on how to connect nodes or more generally how to fine-tune the look of a diagram.

You can compile with pdflatex if you use the --shell-escape switch (TeX Live, MacTeX) or --enable-write18 (MiKTeX), and use the pdf option for the document class: this loads the auto-pst-pdf package. Alternatively, you can load the latter package, after pstricks and its family.

Here is a simple example:

\documentclass[pdf]{article}
\usepackage{pst-node}

\begin{document}

$\psset{arrows=->, arrowinset=0.25, linewidth=0.6pt, nodesep=3pt, labelsep=2pt, rowsep=1.2cm} \begin{psmatrix} (X, d) & (X_1 ,d_1 )\\% & (X_2 ,d_2) %%% \ncline{1,1}{1,2}\naput{T_1} \ncline{1,1}{2,2}\nbput{T_2 } \ncline{1,2}{2,2}\naput[npos=0.45]{T} \end{psmatrix}$
\end{document}