As an example, I wish to draw two segments, one in blue, one in red.

\draw [color=blue](0,0)--(1,1);
\draw [color=red](1,0)--(0,1);

I wish I could issue only one draw or path command such as this (the path is computed externally) :

\draw [color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1) [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1)

But this will draw two red lines since "color" is global to the path and the red color will supercede the blue color in the whole path.

Is there a path command, let's say \stop, that would make

\draw [color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1) \stop [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1);

equivalent to

\draw [color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1);
\draw [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1);


P.S. 1 : the external program can then produce a single phrase : "[color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1) \stop [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1);" I can put behind the "\draw" command.

P.S. 2 : without entering too much details, it is difficult to make the program produce "\draw" because during the transfer to Latex, it is interpreted by Latex not Tikz.


1 Answer 1


No you can't. Either you loose the line joining features (miter etc.) or you use one color per stroke if used the typical -- operation.

The stopping part can be done via to or edge operations and the above statement also apply to them (in different contexts)

\draw (0,0) edge[draw=red]  (1,1) 
      (1,0) edge[draw=blue] (0,1);

This gives a different colored X arms.

As a side note, use draw=red instead of color=red to just change the stroke color.

  • Thanks for closing definitely this door. I will look for another way round ! I dream of a time when most options will be made local when inside of brackets !! Nov 24, 2015 at 10:27
  • @user1771398 This is not a limit of TikZ / pgf but rather of PDF / Postscript. Nov 24, 2015 at 10:31
  • @PaulGaborit But still, isn't it within the power of Tikz-pgf to parse '\draw [color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1) \flushToPostScript [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1);' as an equivalent to '\draw [color=blue] (0,0)--(1,1); \draw [color=red] (1,0)--(0,1);' ? Nov 24, 2015 at 10:49
  • @user1771398 As noted by percusse, with PDF/Postscript, you can't change the drawing color of a path without loose the line joining features. Nov 24, 2015 at 11:39
  • @PaulGaborit I understand that, due to PDF/Postscript, a serie of ( , )--( , )-- ... --( , ) can only be in one color ; for me, no problem since I want two different lines (that is with an interruption between the two) of different color ; if it were otherwise, I would just repeat the common point of the two lines. In other words, I am ready to trade a line interruption to be able to change color (or other parameters) within a path. Thanks for explanations. Nov 24, 2015 at 12:12

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