I am very new to Beamer and LaTeX. I want to draw a stairs matrix as attached. It should be pretty simple but I just don't know how to draw it. Please only use tikZ (and matrix) and don't use other library. Thanks very much![enter image description here]1

  • 1
    Welcome to Tex.SX. Helpers are ready to help if you could provide a minimum code that shows where you stumbled, please.
    – Jesse
    Feb 15 '16 at 7:56

Reasonably minimal:

\tikz[x=1em, y=1em, inner sep=1em/6]]
  \matrix [left delimiter={[}, right delimiter={]}] {
  \draw (0,0) \foreach \i [count=\j] in {1,2,1,3,1,2,2,1,1}{ 
    \ifnum\j>1-- ++(0,-1)\fi node [above right] (x-\j) {$x$} -- ++(\i,0)
  (x-1 -| x-\j) node [left]  {possibly nonzero entries}
  (x-1 |- x-\j) node [right] {zero entries};

enter image description here

  • Thanks Wibrow! It's wonderful! That's exactly what I want! As a beginner, I also want to learn something for your code. Can you give me more explanation on \ifnum\j>1-- ++(0,-1)\fi node [above right] (x-\j) {$x$} -- ++(\i,0) or refer me a link? Thanks!
    – gaotx
    Feb 15 '16 at 16:25
  • @gaotx pretty much everything is in the manual except the \ifnum...\fi trick which uses TeX integer comparison to insert a subpath -- ++(0,-1) (draw a line that is 1 unit below the last known point) if the value of \j is greater than 1. Feb 15 '16 at 19:52

One option:



\matrix (A) [matrix of nodes, left delimiter=[,right delimiter={]}]{
 x \\
 & x\hspace*{3mm}\\
 & & x \\
 & & & x\hspace*{6mm}\\
 & & & & x\\
 & & & & & x\hspace*{3mm}\\
 & & & & & & x\hspace*{3mm}\\
 & & & & & & & x\\
 & & & & & & & & x\\};
 \foreach \i [remember=\i as \j (initially 1)] in {2,...,9}
\draw (A-\j-\j.south west) -|(A-\i-\i.south west);
\draw (A-9-9.south west)--(A-9-9.south east);
\node[anchor=south west] at ([shift={(5mm,5mm)}]A.south west) {zero entries};
\node[anchor=north east] at ([shift={(-3mm,-3mm)}]A.north east) {possibly nonzero entries};

enter image description here

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