# How to extract coordinates in the current scope (before the coordinate transformation matrix is applied)

If I extract coordinates with \pgfgetlastxy{}{}, I get changing results depending on the transformations I've applied to my draw (rotation, scale):

\documentclass[margin=0.5cm]{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}

\newcommand{\myDraw}{%
\begin{minipage}[t]{6cm}
\centering #1,#2\\
\begin{tikzpicture}[#1,#2]
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (3,0);
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (0,3);
\coordinate (A) at (1,3);
\draw[blue] (A) node {$+$} node[above right] {\footnotesize A(2,3)};
\path (A); \pgfgetlastxy{\xA}{\yA}; % Extract the coordinates of A
\draw[red] (canvas cs:x=\xA,y=\yA)
node {$+$} node[red,below right] {\parbox{2.5cm}{\footnotesize \textbackslash xA = \xA\\\textbackslash yA = \yA}};
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{minipage}}

\begin{document}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=0.5}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=-20}
\end{document} And yet, I want to get the coordinates of A in the current scope (i.e \xA = 1 and \yA = 3 in the example above) because I need to apply later some conditionals (like "if \xA < \xb then...").

I was thinking maybe of using a command like \pgftransformreset inside a group and then "smuggle" the non transformed coordinates out of the group. But I'm mostly an LaTeX/TikZ end user and I don't know how to achieve that.

• Are A coords always fixed? – percusse Aug 29 '13 at 21:35
• In the macro I'm working on, it's an intersection point (it will be different if I change the parameter of the macro). – remjg Aug 29 '13 at 21:41
• Related: this thread (It seems that some consider an alternative to the one-node-path-method \path (A); \pgfgetlastxy{\xA}{\yA}; % Extract the coordinates of A more recommendable. – Peter Heinig Jul 16 '17 at 12:25

Numbers get slightly distorted due to internal transformation inersion.

\documentclass[margin=0.5cm]{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\makeatletter
\newcommand{\myDraw}{%
\begin{minipage}[t]{6cm}
\centering #1,#2\\
\begin{tikzpicture}[#1,#2]
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (3,0);
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (0,3);
\coordinate (A) at (1,3);
\draw[blue] (A) node {$+$} node[above right] {\footnotesize A(2,3)};
\pgfpointanchor{A}{center} %<----
\edef\xa{\the\pgf@x}
\edef\ya{\the\pgf@y}       %<----
\draw[red] (canvas cs:x=\xa,y=\ya)
node {$+$} node[red,below right] {\parbox{2.5cm}{\footnotesize%
\textbackslash xA = \xa\\\textbackslash yA = \ya}};

\end{tikzpicture}
\end{minipage}}
\makeatother
\begin{document}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=0.5}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=-20}
\end{document} The marked code can be replaced with a higher level TikZ syntax

\path (A); \pgfgetlastxy{\xA}{\yA}; % Extract the coordinates of A
\begin{scope}
\pgftransforminvert
\coordinate (B) at (\xA,\yA);\path (B); \pgfgetlastxy{\xB}{\yB};
\xdef\xorigA{\xB}
\xdef\yorigA{\yB}
\end{scope}


which does more or less the same thing.

• Note that there is a low level smuggle mechanism for PGF but let me know if you need it. – percusse Aug 29 '13 at 22:06
• Nice! Since I need to do that many times, I have included your code in a separate macro which can be called like this: \extractCoordinates{A}{\xA}{\yA}. I've pasted the definition of the macro below: \newcommand{\extractCoordinates}{% \begin{scope} \path (#1); \pgfgetlastxy{\xTEMP}{\yTEMP}; % Extract the coordinates of A \pgftransforminvert \coordinate (TEMP) at (\xTEMP,\yTEMP);\path (TEMP); \pgfgetlastxy{\xTEMP}{\yTEMP}; \xdef#2{\xTEMP} \xdef#3{\yTEMP} \end{scope}} I run quickly into some troubles so I had to change the names of the variables. Any advice on how to improve it? – remjg Aug 29 '13 at 22:41
• @remjg I've simplified a little – percusse Aug 29 '13 at 23:47
• Indeed, it's way simpler, I like it! I'm going to chose this answer but I have two requests if you don't mind. Could you post your previous answer in an other answer? I think it's a valuable answer, at least for learning. Also, do you mind if I add a macro version at the end of your answer? – remjg Aug 30 '13 at 8:16
• @remjg Sure be my guest. I've put the old version. – percusse Aug 30 '13 at 15:28

Here a solution, without the low level macro \pgfgetlastxy, via a let operation: \documentclass[margin=0.5cm]{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{calc}

\newcommand{\myDraw}{%
\begin{minipage}[t]{6cm}
\centering #1,#2\\
\begin{tikzpicture}[#1,#2]
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (3,0);
\draw[->] (0,0) -- (0,3);
\coordinate (A) at (1,3);
\draw[blue] (A) node {$+$} node[above right] {\footnotesize A(2,3)};

\path [green!50!black]
let \p1=(A) in
(\x1,\y1)  node {$+$}
node[below right,align=left,font=\footnotesize]{
\textbackslash xA = \x1\\
\textbackslash yA = \y1
};

\end{tikzpicture}
\end{minipage}}

\begin{document}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=0.5}{rotate=0}
\myDraw{scale=1}{rotate=-20}
\end{document}


If you need these macro definitions after the path and its let operation, you may:

• use \xdef:

\path let \p1=(A) in
\pgfextra{
\xdef\xA{\x1}
\xdef\yA{\y1}
};

• use \AfterGroup (from etextools package):

\usepackage{etextools}
...
\path let \p1=(A) in
\pgfextra{
\AfterGroup*{
\noexpand\def\noexpand\xA{\x1}
\noexpand\def\noexpand\yA{\y1}
}
};

• Thank you! The issue with the let operation is that it can only be used inside a path. I need to access to the coordinates inside conditionals later on. – remjg Aug 29 '13 at 22:20
• After a few tries, I can use the let operation and an empty node to define \xA and \yB so I can use them later: \draw let \p1=(A) in (A) node {\xdef\xA{\x1}\xdef\yA{\y1}}; But I don't know really what \xdef is (a king of global variable I imagine) and I gess it's quite a bad pratice... – remjg Aug 30 '13 at 10:08
• @remjg You don't need the node to \xdef (yes it globally defines \xA while expanding its content (\x1 and \y1 here), you can do \path let \p1=(A) in \pgfextra{\xdef…};. – Qrrbrbirlbel Aug 30 '13 at 16:02