How can I extract only the x or y part of a predefined coordinate?

For instance, let's say we have

\coordinate (A) at (1,2);

And I want to use the x part of (A) like this

\draw (x of A,3)--(0,0);

2 Answers 2


I'm not aware of any direct syntax to do that (though I would love to have one). You can however use the let operation (section 14.15 in the TikZ v2.10 manual):



\draw let \p1 = (A) in (\x1,3) -- (0,0); 
  • I thought at first that \pgfextractx should work with \coordinate, but it doesn't. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 2:19
  • 2
    @Gonzalo: \newdimen\mydim, \pgfextractx\mydim{\pgfpointanchor{A}{center}}.
    – Caramdir
    Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 2:59
  • thank you; \pgfpointanchor is what I didn't know. Commented Mar 22, 2011 at 16:01
  • 1
    You should point out that this requires the calc tikzlibrary. Commented May 24, 2011 at 18:42

For the second part of your question: You can do that with the |- syntax.

\coordinate (A) at (1,2);

\draw (A |- 0,3) -- (0,0);

Note that for pgfplots you need to set the version to at least 1.11 (e.g., \pgfplotsset{compat=1.11} or \pgfplotsset{compat=newest}) or use coordinates in the (axis cs:x,y) format for the intended behaviour.

  • 1
    You do not need tmp here. You can use directly (A|-0,3) or even (A|-,3) (which is equivalent to (A|-1,3)) or (,3-|A).
    – Kpym
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 10:44
  • That's great! I updated the answer.
    – Scz
    Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 13:43

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