# Typewriter in TikZ node

A small example:

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\tikz{\node[text width=1cm]{\tt totot\\t t t};}
\tikz{\node{\parbox{1cm}{\tt totot\\t t t}};}
\end{document}


As you can see, alignment is not respected in the first TikZ node but is right in the \parbox. Is it a bug of TikZ? Why the difference?

• You can also use the following example, \begin{tikzpicture} \node[text width=1cm,font=\ttfamily]{t t t}; \node[font=\ttfamily] at (0,0.5) {t t t}; \end{tikzpicture}  when you tell TikZ to respect line breaks via align or text width internally it switches from an \hbox to a minipage environment. – percusse Sep 11 '13 at 10:13
• but if i use a minipage instead of a parbox, it is still correctly aligned. – Xoff Sep 11 '13 at 10:18
• What did you use for width of the minipage? – percusse Sep 11 '13 at 10:22

For some reason I can't really well understand, in a \node the parameters \spaceskip and \xspaceskip are set to non zero values; when \spaceskip is non zero, TeX uses it for the interword space instead of the default stored in the current font information.

Try the following example

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\tikz{\node[text width=3cm]{\ttfamily
totot\\
t t t\\
\the\spaceskip\ \the\xspaceskip\\
\spaceskip=0pt totot\\t t t};}
\end{document}


and see that setting \spaceskip=0pt cures the problem.

The option to set is text badly ragged (apparently TikZ doesn't like normal ragged right and adds to the LaTeX definition also the Plain TeX one when calling text ragged which is the default).

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\node[text width=1cm,font=\ttfamily,text badly ragged]{totot\\t t t};
\node[font=\ttfamily] at (1.5,0){\parbox{1cm}{totot\\t t t}};
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


If an option for deciding about the \spaceskip doesn't exist in TikZ, it should.

• Can it be the side effect of \nullfont? – percusse Sep 11 '13 at 10:40
• @percusse I don't think so; the \spaceskip must be explicitly set, in order it changes value. Maybe you can suggest a TikZ style option to set it to zero, rather than using that awful trick of mine. – egreg Sep 11 '13 at 10:46
• the key text justified sets \leftskip and \rightskip to 0pt and produces the desired effect. In general, the internal macro \tikz@text@action is executed just before the node contents and is where all the skip stuff is sorted out, so a new style could \def this macro. – Mark Wibrow Sep 11 '13 at 11:05
• @MarkWibrow The problem is in the fact that TikZ uses Plain TeX's \raggedright rather than LaTeX's. – egreg Sep 11 '13 at 11:41

In a parbox the text is justified and in a node with textwidth specified, the text is raggedright aligned. You can justify the text inside node.

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{ragged2e}
\begin{document}
\tikz{\node[text width=1cm]{\justifying\tt totot\\t t t};}
\tikz{\node{\parbox{1cm}{\tt totot\\t t t}};}
\end{document}


Hence it is not a bug IMO.

Not related, but you can consider using \ttfamily instead of two letter \tt.

• If I use raggedright in the parbox, it is still correctly aligned. – Xoff Sep 11 '13 at 10:19
• @Xoff: That, I don't know :-( – user11232 Sep 11 '13 at 10:35
• It works on this example, but not on more complex ones. The only way to get it right is to have fixed width spaces. – Xoff Sep 11 '13 at 10:36
• @xoff can you show one such example? – user11232 Sep 11 '13 at 13:07
• You're right, there is no such example, your answer is good but : I don't need \justifying, I just need to use package ragged2e. So I suspect this package redefine something that is used by tikz... – Xoff Sep 11 '13 at 14:32