I am trying to draw the following mathematical diagram (see attached). If all the elements were in an array style figure I would be fine with the usual \begin{array} etc. However the arrows from the \mathbb R symbol extend over what would be several elements of an array. I really have no idea how I would approach this picture and wondered if anyone could point me in the correct direction? Many thanks!

enter image description here

  • You may want to check out tex.stackexchange.com/questions/205/…. Of course, that's not a specific recommendation. For specific recommendations, I'll say two things. First, you may have noticed that tikz is pretty popular on this site. Second, I personally like ipe: ipe.otfried.org.
    – Mark
    Dec 26, 2015 at 19:58
  • 2
    You also can use pstricks.
    – Bernard
    Dec 26, 2015 at 20:45
  • 1
    With tikz-cd you'd have a very short code.
    – Alenanno
    Dec 26, 2015 at 21:04
  • 1
    You are basically drawing a commutative diagram. I would consider using the package tikz-cd. Please review the documentation at texdoc.net/texmf-dist/doc/latex/tikz-cd/tikz-cd-doc.pdf. This manual is only 17 pages long with several examples very relevant to your question. Dec 26, 2015 at 21:07
  • Another solution is with xy. Will post an answer sooner or later :).
    – MickG
    Dec 27, 2015 at 21:08

4 Answers 4


This would be definitely doable in TikZ or PSTricks, but I think it'd be an overkill for a simple diagram as this. I think you should use tikz-cd, very minimal code, and specifically designed for this kind of diagrams.

Keep in mind that it works like a matrix (a table basically), so you know how you can place the various "nodes". Also, the command for the arrows are easy too, the letters indicate the direction: u for up, d for down, r and l for right and left, dr for down-right, drr for down-right-right, and so on.

I couldn't read the text on some of the arrows, so you might have to fix that, but it gives the idea.





        & & T(TM) & & T^*(TM)\\
        & & T^{*}M \arrow[u, "X_H", swap] \arrow[urr, "\delta_H", swap]\\
   R    \arrow[uurr, "X_{H}\circ(X\circ\varphi)", bend left=45]  
        \arrow[urr, "\alpha\circ\varphi", swap, bend left] 
        \arrow[drr, "X\circ\varphi", bend right]  
        \arrow[ddrr, "X_{L}\circ(X\circ\varphi)", swap, bend right=45] 
        & & M \arrow[u, "\alpha", swap] \arrow[d, "X"] \\
        & & TM \arrow[d, "X_L"] \arrow[drr, "\delta_L"]\\
        & & T(TM) & & T^*(TM)
  • thank you so very much for getting me started! Is there any way I can offer you some extra bounty points? Just to show my appreciation for your help :) !! Dec 26, 2015 at 21:40
  • @AngusTheMan Ahah well, in order to place a bounty, you must wait 2 days I think, but if I remember correctly the minimum is 50 reputation, which is removed from your own reputation. And considering you are at 176 reputation, not to mention the fact that (allow me to be modest) this answer is not really worthy of a bounty, I'd say there's no need for it. As much as I appreciate the gesture. :D
    – Alenanno
    Dec 26, 2015 at 21:54
  • @AngusTheMan I have added the full code. :)
    – Alenanno
    Dec 26, 2015 at 22:04
  • @AngusTheMan It's not o but \circ.
    – Manuel
    Dec 26, 2015 at 22:55

The code required by the psmatrix environment is not very long either. The main difference with tikz-cd is that one first describes the nodes, then the nodes connections.



\psset{arrows=->, arrowinset=0.15, linewidth=0.6pt, nodesep=2pt, labelsep=1pt, colsep=0.8cm, rowsep=1cm, shortput=nab}%
$ \begin{psmatrix}
    %% nodes
     & T(TM) & \pnode[0,-0.5]{TsTs}\rput[l](TsTs){\textstyle T^*(T^*M)}\\
    &T^*M & \\
   \mathbf{R} & M \\
    & TM\\
    &T(TM) & \pnode[0,0.5]{TsT}\rput[l](TsT){\textstyle T^*(TM)}
    %% arrows
    \ncline{2,2}{TsTs}\nbput[npos = 0.6]{\theta_H}
    \ncline{4,2}{TsT}\naput[npos = 0.6]{\theta_L}
    \psset{arcangle=40, npos=0.45, nrot=:U, nodesepA=4pt}
    \ncarc{3,1}{4,2}\naput[npos=0.5]{X\circ Y}
    \end{psmatrix} $


enter image description here


Hoping I have correctly read all the arrows, here is my code and output:


 & T(TM) & T^\ast(T^\ast M) \\
 & T^\ast M \ar[u]_{X_H} \ar[ur]_{\theta_H} \\
\mathbb R \ar@/^2pc/[uur]^{X_H\circ(\alpha\circ\phi)} \ar@/^1pc/[ur]^{\alpha\circ\gamma} \ar[r]^{\gamma} \ar@/_1pc/[dr]_{x\circ\gamma} \ar@/_2pc/[ddr]_{x_\iota\circ(x\circ\gamma)} & M \ar[d]_x \\
 & TM \ar[d]_{X_\iota} \ar[dr]^{\theta_n} \\
 & T(TM) & T^\ast(TM)

enter image description here

Basically, a \xymatrix is a big matrix, where you can have arrows starting at ending at any cell you want.

You place the command \ar etc in the cell where the arrow starts, then you specify in []s where the arrow ends, with a combination of d for down, u for up, r for right, and l for left, with respect to the cell you have reached with the previous letter. For example, suppose I start in (4,1) and have [uurur]. So I have u, I go up one, and get to (3,1), then another u, so (2,1), an r, so (2,2), another u, so (1,2), and r, so I end up in (1,3). Of course, [uuurr] is equivalent, and any permutation is. I have never experimented mixing us and ds or rs and ls, but if it doesn't give an error a u should cancel an l and a d an r and viceversa.

_ and ^ after an arrow place stuff on its sides. Don't ask me for more details in the case of turned arrows because I myself often get this wrong :), but if you have an arrow pointing to the right (perhaps up-right, so a combination of us and rs), _ puts stuff below it and ^ above.

Then there is the world of the @s. The \ar@ command is one of the most complex I know of. You can have multiple @s in a single arrow, and they take very variegated arguments. I won't go too much into details, but the documentation should help you there.

  • You have @/_…/, which bends the arrow "down" (like _ puts stuff "below") by …, which must be a dimension. This has the @/^…/ counterpart for bending "up". I do not know what @/…/ does, but it should not give errors.
  • Then we have @<…>, which moves the arrow by …, which is a dimension. The movement is perpendicular to the arrow itself, at least when the arrow is straight, but a suitable definition of "perpendicular" should extend this explanation to bent arrows (@/_…/ or @/^…/ ones).
  • You have @{…}, which specifies the shape (three bits: tail, shaft, head, in this order) of the arrow.

That is about all I remember. I haven't drawn diagrams in quite some time, and I recently switched to tikz-cd because it allows for colored arrows, which xy unfortunately doesn't. However, I used this package for a couple of years and it is a nice way to draw B&W diagrams -- up till you want to mess with arrow loops, or do some weird arrow fiddling, where xy comes short of control, and tikz-cd comes to the rescue, once you learn how to use it :).

I should point out that, at the time of my last argument with xypic, the TL distribution had an out-of-date version of it, whereas the up-to-date version could be found on sourceforge, the package author's site.


Users of lualatex could also use luamplib to write in-line Metapost graphics. But it's not nearly so succinct as tikz-cd, and you need to know how to use MP.

enter image description here

\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Termes}
\setmathfont{TeX Gyre Termes Math}

In theory, the interrelation of system and/or subsystem technologies must utilize
and be functionally interwoven with the evolution of specifications over a given
time period.  In particular, any associated supporting element necessitates that
urgent consideration be applied to possible bidirectional logical relationship

vardef label_connect@#(expr i,j,s) = 
  save p, a, b; path p; pair a, b;
  a = center c[i];
  b = center c[j];
  p = a -- b cutbefore bbox c[i] cutafter  bbox c[j];
  drawarrow p; label.@#(s,point 0.5 of p);

  bboxmargin := 5pt;
  picture c[];

  c5 = thelabel(btex $\mathbb{R}$ etex, 80 left);
  c0 = thelabel(btex $M$     etex, origin);
  c1 = thelabel(btex $T^*M$  etex, 60 up);
  c2 = thelabel(btex $T(TM)$ etex, 120 up); 
  c3 = thelabel(btex $TM$    etex, 60 down);
  c4 = thelabel(btex $T(TM)$ etex, 120 down); 
  c6 = thelabel(btex $T^*(T^*M)$ etex, 80 up + 80 right); 
  c7 = thelabel(btex $T^*(TM)$   etex, 80 down + 80 right); 

  for i=0 upto 7: draw c[i]; endfor

  label_connect.rt   (0, 1, btex $X$ etex);
  label_connect.rt   (1, 2, btex $X_H$ etex);
  label_connect.rt   (0, 3, btex $X$ etex);
  label_connect.rt   (3, 4, btex $X_L$ etex);
  label_connect.top  (5, 0, btex $Y$ etex);
  label_connect.ulft (5, 1, btex $X\circ Y$ etex);
  label_connect.llft (5, 3, btex $X\circ Y$ etex);
  label_connect.lrt  (1, 6, btex $\theta_H$ etex);
  label_connect.urt  (3, 7, btex $\theta_L$ etex);

  path a,b; 
  a = center c[5] {up} .. {dir 30} center c[2] cutbefore bbox c[5] cutafter  bbox c[2];
  b = a reflectedabout(left,right);

  drawarrow a; label.ulft(btex $X_H\circ (X\circ Y)$ etex, point 0.6 of a);
  drawarrow b; label.llft(btex $X_L\circ (X\circ Y)$ etex, point 0.6 of b);

Conversely, any associated supporting element recognizes other systems'
importance and the necessity for possible bidirectional logical relationship
approaches.  However, a service-oriented paradigm is further compounded when taking
into account the evolution of specifications over a given time period.  


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