# How to draw triangular grid in TikZ?

Is there an easy way to draw a triangular grid in TikZ, like this? • Just a pointer. Sorry for not offering real code. I'd draw it just like there were no grid. Use foreach to draw the three sets of lines. Aug 18 '10 at 12:54

Like Leo said: use \foreach and some math:

\usetikzlibrary{calc}

\newcommand*\rows{10}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\foreach \row in {0, 1, ...,\rows} {
\draw ($\row*(0.5, {0.5*sqrt(3)})$) -- ($(\rows,0)+\row*(-0.5, {0.5*sqrt(3)})$);
\draw ($\row*(1, 0)$) -- ($(\rows/2,{\rows/2*sqrt(3)})+\row*(0.5,{-0.5*sqrt(3)})$);
\draw ($\row*(1, 0)$) -- ($(0,0)+\row*(0.5,{0.5*sqrt(3)})$);
}
\end{tikzpicture}

• If I'm not mistaken, for an equilateral triangle, those should all be sqrt(3), not sqrt(2). (Though maybe you didn't want an equilateral one, in which case, ignore me.) Aug 19 '10 at 4:28
• Well, that is rather embarrassing. Don't tell anyone! ;) Aug 19 '10 at 8:39

A funny solution (have you ever used lindenmayersystems library?):

\documentclass{standalone}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{lindenmayersystems}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\pgfdeclarelindenmayersystem{triangular grid}{\rule{F->F-F+++F--F}}
\path[draw=black,
l-system={triangular grid,step=1cm,
angle=-60,axiom=F--F--F,order=4,
}]
lindenmayer system -- cycle;
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

• Wow, that's pretty clever!
– Jake
Jun 26 '12 at 0:25
• Great example of lateral thinking -- congratulations! Jun 26 '12 at 10:30
• The question is not "have you ever used lindenmayersystems library", but "did you even know about it's existence". Very nice! Jun 26 '12 at 10:42
• @TomBombadil How to use TikZ without reading the manual? How to read pgfmanual without reading all chapters? ;-) Jun 26 '12 at 22:10

A slightly different solution using a matrix transformation and clipping:

\newcommand*{\rows}{10}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\xcoord}{cos(60)}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\ycoord}{sin(60)}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\pgftransformcm{1}{0}{\xcoord}{\ycoord}{\pgfpointorigin}

\path[clip,preaction = {draw=black}] (\rows,0) -- (0,0) -- (0,\rows) -- cycle;
\draw (0,0) grid (\rows,\rows);
\foreach \x in {1,2,...,\rows} {
\draw (0,\x) -- (\x,0);
}
\end{tikzpicture}

• Very beautiful! Jun 26 '12 at 0:28
• Nice. (nitpick: the last (\rows,0) can be cycle :P) Jun 26 '12 at 9:44
• Very nice (and very convenient when one needs to draw something on triangular grid). Dec 8 '14 at 15:43

You could abuse the pgfplots tenary plot feature for this. On the plus side it allows you to easily plot data in that grid.

\documentclass[tikz]{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\usepgfplotslibrary{ternary}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{ternaryaxis}[
xticklabels={},
yticklabels={},
zticklabels={},
major tick length=0,
minor tick length=0,
minor tick num=2,
every axis grid/.style={},
grid=both,
]
\end{ternaryaxis}
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document} Next code defines command \grid which draws a triangular grid made with triangular nodes. \grid's parameter is the number of rows. minimum size in tri/.style is the diameter of triangle's circumscribed circle.

With nodes instead of just lines, it's easier to use the grid as base for nice TiKZ drawings.

\documentclass[tikz,border=2mm]{standalone}
\usetikzlibrary{shapes}

\newcommand{\grid}{
\foreach \i [count=\row from 0, remember=\row as \lastrow (initially 0)] in {0,...,#1}{
\foreach \j [count=\column from 0, remember=\column as \lastcolumn (initially 0)] in {0,...,\i}{
\ifnum\row=0
\node[tri](0-0){0-0};
\else
\ifnum\column=0
\node[tri, anchor=north](\row-0) at (\lastrow-0.corner 2) {\row-0};
\else
\node[tri, anchor=north](\row-\column) at (\lastrow-\lastcolumn.corner 3) {\row-\column};
\fi
\fi}}
}

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[tri/.style={draw=gray, regular polygon, regular polygon sides=3,
minimum size=2cm, inner sep=0pt, outer sep=0pt}]

\grid{5}

\begin{scope}[draw=yellow!30!black, very thick, fill=yellow!80!black]
\filldraw[fill opacity=.7] (5-2.corner 2)--(4-0.corner 1)--(4-1.corner 1)--
(2-1.corner 1)--(3-2.corner 3)--(4-4.corner 1)--(5-4.corner 2)--cycle;

\draw (4-1.corner 1) -- (4-3.corner 1) (4-2.corner 1)--(2-1.corner 1);
\end{scope}

\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document} • Perhaps one should call it \trid instead of \grid ;) Aug 25 '15 at 17:33

A MetaPost version, as a complement. It is based on a recursion inspired by Paul Gaborit's use of the lindenmayersystems library. I borrowed much code from my answer to a related question.

Note that at each recursion only the midpoints triangle is drawn, in order not to draw the same segments more than once (which would result in a much thicker rendering of these segments).The main, biggest triangle being drawn only once, before the recursion takes place.

To be run with LuaLaTeX.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{luamplib}
\begin{document}
\begin{mplibcode}
vardef triangular_grid(expr A, B, C, n) = % Recursive macro à la MetaPost
if n>0:
save midAC, midBC, midAB; pair midAC, midBC, midAB;
midAC = .5[A, C]; midBC = .5[B, C]; midAB = .5[A, B];
triangular_grid(A, midAB, midAC, n-1);
triangular_grid(midAB, B, midBC, n-1);
triangular_grid(midBC, midAC, midAB, n-1);
triangular_grid(midAC, midBC, C, n-1);
draw midAB--midAC--midBC--cycle;
fi;
enddef;
beginfig(1);
u := 14cm; pair A, B, C; A = origin; B =  (u, 0); C = u*dir 60;
draw A--B--C--cycle;
triangular_grid(A, B, C, 4);
endfig;
\end{mplibcode}
\end{document} At risk of starting a "code golf" war, but in the spirit of "TIMTOWTDI",

\documentclass{standalone}\usepackage{tikz}
\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}[yscale=sqrt(.75),xslant=.5]
\def\n{12}
\clip[preaction=draw](0,0)--(\n,0)--(0,\n)--cycle;
\draw(0,0)grid(\n,\n)[xslant=-1](0,0)grid(\n,\n);
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}


If you want to avoid double-drawn grid lines, then line 4 is

\draw(0,0)grid(\n,\n)[xslant=-1](0,0)grid[ystep=\n](\n,\n);


Notes:

• No point including a picture here, as it looks like those above.
• Yes, this is similar to answer contributed by @finite

Probably not the most elegant, but slightly simplified (from my perspective) variant of Caramdir's answer.

\documentclass[10pt]{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{shapes.geometric}
\usetikzlibrary{shapes.misc}

\begin{document}

\newcommand*\gridsize{10}

\begin{figure}[!htb]
\resizebox{\linewidth}{!}{
\begin{tikzpicture}
\tikzstyle{every node}=[draw,thin]

\foreach \a in {1,...,\gridsize}{
\draw[dotted] (0, 0) -- (\a, 0) -- ({cos(60)*\a}, {sin(60)*\a}) -- cycle;
\draw[dashed] ({\gridsize-\a}, 0) -- (\gridsize, 0) -- ({\gridsize-cos(60)*(\a)}, {sin(60)*(\a)}) -- cycle;
\draw[red] ({cos(60)*(\gridsize-\a)}, {sin(60)*(\gridsize-\a)}) -- ({(\gridsize/2)+cos(60)*\a}, {sin(60)*(\gridsize-\a)}) -- ({cos(60)*\gridsize}, {sin(60)*\gridsize}) -- cycle;
}
\end{tikzpicture}
}

\caption{Triangular grid}
\end{figure}

\end{document}


Charles Staats contributed to this solution in Drawing scaled triangles with their bottom left corner at the same coordinates in TikZ as I became fixated on using polygons.

This is a full-page triangular grid I created recently. My approach was to slant vertical lines in both directions.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[margin={0.4in,0.8in}]{geometry}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usepackage{nopageno}

\begin{document}

\pgfmathsetmacro{\cols}{60}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\rows}{55}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\slant}{cot(60)}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\height}{0.5 * \rows * tan(60)}

\begin{tikzpicture}[scale=0.38,rotate=90]
\clip       (0, 0) rectangle (\cols, \height);
\draw[gray] (0, 0) rectangle (\cols, \height);

\pgfmathsetmacro{\from}{-2 *\cols}
\pgfmathsetmacro{\to}{2 * \cols}
\foreach\i in {\from, ..., \to} {
\draw[gray, dotted, xslant=\slant]  (\i, 0) -- (\i, \height);
\draw[gray, dotted, xslant=-\slant] (\i, 0) -- (\i, \height);
}

\foreach\j in {0, ..., \rows} {
\pgfmathsetmacro{\y}{0.5 * \j * tan(60)}
\draw[gray, dotted] (0, \y) -- (\cols, \y);
}
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document} 