I use \fbox{} in LaTeX to draw a box around a text. How can one achieve a computer bit representation as shown below,

Here the number of boxes must be the input and the data to be entered can be as text

  • 4
    You should consider the bytefield package.
    – Werner
    Nov 30 '13 at 17:44
  • Apart from Werner's interesting suggestion (thanks! I wasn't aware of that package :D), there are lots of interesting solutions to similar problem in this question.
    – Pouya
    Nov 30 '13 at 21:06

As mentioned in comments, you should consider, bytefield package for such constructions. It offers many sophisticated layouts out of the box. For more details, type texdoc bytefield from the command line/prompt) or visit texdoc.net. An example (from th manual):

%\bitheader{0-7} \\
\bitbox{1}{Res} & \bitbox{1}{BE} & \bitbox{1}{CF}
& \bitbox{3}{$\mbox{Name\_Len}-1$} & \bitbox{2}{Len\_Len} \\

enter image description here



Using the almighty tikz I created a command \drawbits, which takes a comma separated list of values, where 0 denotes an unset bit and anything else (e.g. 1) a set bit.


\pagestyle{empty}%for cropping
    \tikz[x=1.5ex,y=1.5ex,every path/.style={draw=black,semithick}]{%
        \foreach \y [count=\i] in {#1} {
                \draw (\i,0) rectangle (\i+1,1);
                \draw (\i,0) rectangle (\i+1,1);
                \filldraw[fill=black] (\i+0.2,0.2) rectangle (\i*1+0.8,0.8);
My bits: \drawbits{0,0,1,1,0,1,0}

\large My bits: \drawbits{0,0,1,1,0,1,0}

\Large My bits: \drawbits{0,0,1,1,0,1,0}

\LARGE My bits: \drawbits{0,0,1,1,0,1,0}


enter image description here


An alternative to the bytefield package is to use the venerable Tikz:

\newcommand\drawbits[1]{\tikz\draw[step=12pt] (0,0) grid (#1*12pt,12pt);}

will load Tikz and define a command called \drawbits that will draw a specified number of bits. For example:

Here are eight bits: \drawbits{8}.

produces: output

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