I have (supposedly) successfully installed xypic and am attempting to draw some diagrams. Everything is compiling just fine, but no matter what I do I cannot get the heads of the arrows to appear. All that shows up is the base of the arrow. For instance,

{\ar (0,0)*+{A}; (25,0)*+{A}};

shows no arrow head.

  • 1
    Are you sure this is not an artifact of your viewer? What does the arrow look like if you open the PDF in Adobe Reader?
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 25, 2011 at 23:27
  • Thank you for your responses. I tried both of these already and it's still not including the arrowheads. I was thinking I might have place some of the files in the wrong directory. For instance, I couldn't come up with a natural place to put the Metafont (.mf) files in my ~/Library/texmf directory. Any suggestions?
    – Brian
    Apr 26, 2011 at 1:13
  • Since you're using a Mac, why did you have to install xypic in the first place? It should be part of your distribution. Maybe you should remove everything you installed in ~/Library/texmf and try it again. Your sample code works fine for me on a Mac, without having installed anything other than a full MacTeX.
    – Alan Munn
    Apr 26, 2011 at 1:45
  • @Jasper: if would be good if you would post that comment as an answer, additionally.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    May 6, 2011 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


Use \usepackage[all,dvips]{xy} or \usepackage[all,pdftex]{xy} in the preamble according to whether you compile the diagram via latex+dvips+ps2pdf or pdflatex.

Also try updating your packages; sometimes there is a bug in one or two packages that would be fixed after the update.


I had this problem, and the dvips/pdftex fix didn't work for me. However, I eventually got it working by making sure I included \usepackage{amsfonts, amsmath, amssymb} in my preamble. Worth a try :)

  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.sx! Your question won't be seen by many people here, so it would be best to repost it as a fresh question. Follow-up questions like this are more than welcome! Please use the "Ask Question" link for your new question; there you can link to this question to provide the background. May 1, 2012 at 10:22

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