I was directed to use the hobby package from a previous question of mine: Drawing a bent path as a loop in tikz

However, I just don't seem to get the package to work. Here is an MWE:


\begin{tikzpicture}[use Hobby shortcut]
\draw (0,0) .. (1,1);


which results in the following error message:

mwe.tex:6: Undefined control sequence
The control sequence at the end of the top line
of your error message was never \def'ed. If you have
misspelled it (e.g., `\hobx'), type `I' and the correct
spelling (e.g., `I\hbox'). Otherwise just continue,
and I'll forget about whatever was undefined.

What particularly bothers me here is that LaTeX does not give me information about which control sequence actually is undefined.

The following version strings are in the log file:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (MiKTeX 2.9) (preloaded format=pdflatex 2013.11.5)  19 FEB 2014 15:40
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>

I am using the latest version of hobby, 2014-01-24 as installed by the miktex package manager. I'm using Windows 7 x64.

Also, since this paper will be submitted to a journal, is using the hobby package a bad idea? What are the chances that the journal would not be able to compile the document?

  • 1
    Did you install the package via the package manager of MikteX (admin one)?
    – percusse
    Feb 19, 2014 at 14:59
  • 2
    For the last point, you can create a standalone document and include in you journal paper the resulting pdf as a figure. Feb 19, 2014 at 15:00
  • @percusse I did install it with the admin miktex package manager. I have also installed a couple of l3 packages to see if it helped. Feb 19, 2014 at 15:02
  • 3
    There is also the possibility, that you have to install/update the package as user.
    – Johannes_B
    Feb 19, 2014 at 15:15
  • 1
    I use the externalisation feature of TikZ to ensure that a journal (or the arXiv) can use any pictures that I create. If you do use hobby to generate a picture for your paper, send me a link to the paper! Feb 19, 2014 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


MikTeX can be quite complicated sometimes.
Installing a basic MikTeX as Admin gives you just the basi packages. Running as user and having »Install packages on the fly« activated, all downloaded and installed packages now are in a User tree.

Updating as admin won't have any effect on them, so usually a user update is needed as well.

Another possibility is to install packages manually. Usually one can download all files relating to one package from CTAN. Stefan Kottwitz once gave a good summary. But beware, installing packages manually most likely leaves you with unresolved dependencies (one package needing another one to work).


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