At here Pascal's triangle in tikz we can draw Pascal's triangle. Now I want to note some properties of coefficients C_{n+3}^4 -C_{n+2}^4-C_{n+1}^4+C_{n}^4=n^2 (the first picture) as folowing pictures enter image description here

enter image description here

How can I draw this pictures?

2 Answers 2


I'll left to you understand the code but next is a possible solution based in Paul Gaborit's example

% Author : Paul Gaborit (2009)
% under Creative Commons attribution license.
% Title : Pascal's triangle and Sierpinski triangle
% Note : 17 lines maximum
\documentclass[border=2mm, tikz]{standalone}


% x=\sqrt{3/4}*minimum size
% y=3/4*minimum size
  % some colors
  % some styles
      regular polygon,
      regular polygon sides=6,
      minimum size=10mm,
      inner sep=0mm,
      outer sep=0mm,
      text centered,
      line width=.25mm,
    link/.style={black,  shorten >=2mm, shorten <=2mm, line width=1mm},
  % Pascal's triangle
  % row #0 => value is 1
  \node[box=even] (p-0-0) at (0,0) {\rotatebox{-30}{1}};
  \foreach \row in {1,...,11} {
     % col #0 =&gt; value is 1
    \node[box=even] (p-\row-0) at (-\row/2,-\row) {\rotatebox{-30}{1}};
    \foreach \col in {1,...,\row} {
      % iterative formula : val = precval * (row-col+1)/col
      % (+ 0.5 to bypass rounding errors)
      % position of each value
      \coordinate (pos) at (-\row/2+\col,-\row);
      % odd color for odd value and even color for even value
       \node[box=even] (p-\row-\col) at (pos) {\rotatebox{-30}{\myvalue}};
    \foreach \i/\j in {4/1,5/1,5/2,6/2,7/6,8/6,8/7,9/7}
        \node[box=even,fill=odd]  at (p-\i-\j) {};

    \draw[link] (p-4-1.center)--(p-6-2.center);
    \draw[link] (p-5-1.center)--(p-5-2.center);
    \draw[link] (p-7-6.center)--(p-9-7.center);
    \draw[link] (p-8-6.center)--(p-8-7.center);
    \node[right=5mm of p-8-8.center, align=left]  {$(36-7)+(28-8)=49$};
    \node[left=5mm of p-5-0.center, align=right]  {$(15-4)+(10-5)=16$};



enter image description here

(19/11/18) Code updated to avoid problems mentioned in Problem with Pascal triangle example

  • 1
    hi. There may be a problem in this code, an interaction with some other package. If you have trouble compiling it, see my other post : tex.stackexchange.com/questions/460463/… Nov 17, 2018 at 18:14
  • Please consider replacing \value by something less dangerous (OK, this expression sounds stronger than it should sound, this is not meant to sound strong) since \value has a well-defined meaning in many packages/classes, so there could be problems, see e.g. this post. How about \myvalue?
    – user121799
    Nov 17, 2018 at 18:17
  • @NicolasFRANCOIS Code updated.
    – Ignasi
    Nov 19, 2018 at 8:12

Not a complete answer, but just intended to show a different way of drawing the triangle and also calculating the values. Requires lualatex:

function factorial (f)
  if f < 2 then  return 1 else  return f*factorial(f-1) end

function nchoosek(n, k)
  return factorial(n) / (factorial(n-k) * factorial(k))
  regular polygon, regular polygon sides=6, shape border rotate=30,
  minimum size=1cm, inner sep=0pt,
  draw, ultra thick, execute at begin node={\setbox0\hbox\bgroup},
  execute at end node={\egroup\pgfmathparse{min(4ex,\wd0)/\wd0}%
\tikz[x=1cm*sin 60, y=1.5cm*cos 60]
\foreach \n in {0,...,11}
  \foreach \k in {0,...,\n}    
    \node [hexagon] at (-\n/2+\k, -\n) {\directlua{tex.print("" .. nchoosek(\n,\k))}};

enter image description here

The advantage with using lualatex is that it is possible to bypass the limits on mathematical calculations in PGF (actually in TeX):

enter image description here

  • This won't compile at my place as of today. The fix is explained here : add \RequirePackage{luatex85} as the very first line, a temporary workaround until standalone is updated.
    – marsupilam
    Oct 25, 2016 at 16:29
  • Hi @mark-wibrow, I would like to use your code with a little change: I would like to be able to change the background color of some hexagons, inserting some conditional code. I don't know where to insert it, though. A simple line like "\ifthenelse{\n=2}{fill=blue!30,}{}" won't work. How could I do?
    – zar
    Nov 2, 2016 at 17:31

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