consider the following image (taken from here):

enter image description here

I want to adapt this image as TikZ picture. I would represent each rectangular node of the tree as a TikZ node. Each node has two character-wise aligned strings as labels. Is there a clever way, for instance using the matrix library of TikZ, to align text of node labels character-wise, like it was done in the picture?

I have looked at some examples, but I have not found a similar situation yet.


  • 1
    Welcome to TeX.SX! Why not just use a mono spaced font, e.g. \node[align=left,font=\ttfamily]{abcde\\12345};? Do you have the code for the tree, without the "custom" styled nodes? If so, can you add that to your question? – Torbjørn T. Nov 5 '15 at 17:20
  • Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I do not have the code of the tree. Using monospace font would be a perfect solution. However, i just wondered whether there is a more general way to make matrix-like labels, e.g. if you have sophisticated demands wrt spacing, cell alignment, separating lines etc. – lkzim Nov 5 '15 at 18:04
  • By the way, do you want to use a special tree-package, like tikz-qtree or forest, or is plain TikZ fine? – Torbjørn T. Nov 5 '15 at 20:52

For your example, nodes with a monospaced font is sufficient, so you can use something like node[draw,align=center,font=\ttfamily]{imimi\\23451}.

That said, a matrix is just a special type of node, so you can actually use node[matrix] {...} in TikZ tree structure. See example below.

I also added a simple example of a more manual way of setting things up, placing several \matrix constructions relative to each other.

enter image description here


\node [draw] {start} 
child {node[draw,align=center,font=\ttfamily]{imimi\\23451}}
child {node[draw,align=center,font=\ttfamily]{abaae\\10011}};


\begin{tikzpicture}[every matrix/.append style={ampersand replacement=\&,matrix of nodes}]
\node [matrix,draw] {a \& b \\ c \& d \\} 
child {node[matrix,draw] {a \& b \\ c \& d \\}}
child {node[matrix,draw] {a \& b \\ c \& d \\}};


\begin{tikzpicture}[every node/.append style={on grid,node distance=1.5cm and 1cm},
                    every matrix/.append style={matrix of nodes,draw}]
\matrix (m1) {1&2\\b&c\\};
\matrix [below left=of m1] (m2) {1&2\\b&c\\};
\matrix [below right=of m1] (m3) {1&2\\b&c\\};

\draw (m1) edge (m2)
           edge (m3);

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