I'm trying to calculate coordinates based on existing coordinates but each coordinate individually.

The first thing which is unclear to me is how to define scalar variables. I can define coordinates using the \coordinate command, but what about scalars?

Looking through the manual I found the \pgfextractx command, but I don't know how to use it, is it possible to use it within a coordinate calculation like for example

\coordinate(blah) at ($ (\pgfextractx{(centre)} + 2*cos(30), .. )$)


  • What do you mean exactly with "calculate coordinates based on existing coordinates but each coordinate individually"? I have the feeling you use "coordinate" for both \coordinate and the X and Y part of it, which makes the question quite difficult to read. May 2, 2011 at 9:52
  • Agree this was somewhat confusing, I just want to access the x and y part of it separately instead of, let's say just multiply the coordinate vector with a scalar.
    – Nils
    May 2, 2011 at 11:30
  • You could define scalars with \newcommand.
    – Caramdir
    May 2, 2011 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


It is possible to do by means of let operation:


    \fill[blue] (0,0) coordinate (centre) circle[radius=1pt];
    \fill[red] let \p1=(centre) in
        ({\x1 + 2 * cos(30)}, \y1) circle[radius=1pt];
  • ! Package tikz Error: Cannot parse this radius. (line 7)
    – Nils
    May 2, 2011 at 11:13
  • It's a bad idea to use \pgfmathresult inside a coordinate. This macro is overwritten by any pgfmath operation. It is much saver to use \pgfmathsetmacro\myresult{...} instead of \pgfmathparse{...} and then \myresult pt as X-coordinate. Note that \pgfmathresult is in pt but without the unit, so just using it alone will give you wrong results except when x=1pt is in affect. May 2, 2011 at 11:37
  • @Nils: it turns out that we use different versions of PGF (I use v2.10). May 2, 2011 at 13:44
  • @Martin: Thank you for your comment, I've changed my answer accordingly. May 2, 2011 at 13:51
  • 1
    @Dmitry: One can simply write ({\x1 + 2 * cos(30)}, \y1). (Note the additional braces and that \x1 already contains the unit pt.)
    – Caramdir
    May 2, 2011 at 14:48

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