I do not know what is the official term for such images, but if I make an image in TikZ or pstricks then I want it to have no background; for example I might post it on a webpage with a different background than white, then it should blend in nicely.

I have seen a couple of images in wikipedia that are like this (example), and they show up on image viewers to have some kind of a checkered background.

  • the buzz word is "transparent background" and TikZ is giving you that automatically if I am not wrong.
    – percusse
    Sep 28, 2011 at 21:04
  • wait you want to convert it to an image file? Like .png or .gif?
    – percusse
    Sep 28, 2011 at 21:05
  • @percusse yes (..char limit...)
    – yayu
    Sep 28, 2011 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


Since you want to convert to an image file, the problem is one of the converter pdf -> image. TikZ as such does not fill the background (unless you do so explicitly).

If you use ImageMagick, you can use convert -transparent white during the conversion. Other programs may require a transparency channel (perhaps you need to create one based on the color "white" as well).


Converting any image (rasterized or vector-based) to a "transparent background image" would have to be performed by an external program. TeX's output is either postscript or PDF. If you want to port LaTeX/graphic code to SVG format specifically, consider reading up on SVG LaTeX.

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