I need to be able to draw tripled paths in TikZ. I guess this could be done by some clever style which draws a big doubled path to get the outer curves correct, then uses some clever post-action hackery to draw a second non-doubled path to produce the central curve. I need to be able to set the thickness and the spacings of the three lines independently, just like one can with doubled lines.

Luckily, I don't need arrowheads on the line!

Anyone up to the challenge? :)

  • Just to be clear, the idea is that the three lines will be evenly spaced. So there are two parameters I want to be able to supply: the width of the individual curves, and the separation between adjacent curves. – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:21
  • And by using the term "path", you mean that this is not just a straight line, but a number of connected line segments, possibly with rounded edges/curves at each connection. And, no pstricks? – Werner Dec 15 '11 at 21:26
  • Hi Werner. I need to end up with a PDF - does that rule out pstricks? Maybe that's a stupid question. I'm not sure what the pros and cons are of that option. But anyway, yes, it's a fully-general path. I'll need to use the \draw [triple] (A) to [out=45,in=100] (B) construction and its ilk. – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:32
  • pstricks can also be used to produce PDF output via a different compiling sequence or pst-pdf. – Werner Dec 15 '11 at 21:40
  • 1
    The arrowheads would have been what made this interesting ... (actually, I do have a solution for that; just waiting for someone to ask the right question) – Loop Space Dec 15 '11 at 22:38

So basically a pre action on the path. I have added a style which is shown how to be called, notice that it will always draw.

    triple/.style args={[#1] in [#2] in [#3]}{
  \draw[triple={[line width=1mm,red] in
      [line width=2mm,blue] in
      [line width=4mm,black]}] (0,0) to[out=10,in=100] (0,1);
  • Perhaps I should wait for more answers, but that seems to do the job! Thanks! – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:35
  • @JamieVicary, yes that should at least attract other users who might drop in on a solution. – zeroth Dec 15 '11 at 21:47
  • I adapted your code to produce this, which works very well for my purposes: – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:48
  • \newlength\triplesep \newlength\triplelinewidth \setlength\triplesep{1pt} \setlength\triplelinewidth{1pt} \tikzset{triple/.style={line width=\triplelinewidth,black, preaction={ preaction={draw,line width=2\triplesep+3\triplelinewidth,black}, draw,line width=2\triplesep+\triplelinewidth,white} } } – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:48
  • Oops, wasn't expecting it to look like that ... anyway, maybe it'll be useful for someone :). – Jamie Vicary Dec 15 '11 at 21:49

enter image description here



    \rput(2.5,4){Step 1}

    \rput(2.5,4){Step 2}

    \rput(2.5,4){Step 3}

  • which parameter setting do you use for the gif. I tried: convert -delay 50 -loop 0 -density 150 -alpha off <file>.pdf <file>.gif but the output is lousy ... – user2478 Aug 27 '12 at 16:13
  • convert: UnrecognizedAlphaChannelType remove' @ error/convert.c/ConvertImageCommand/657. I have ImageMagick 6.7.2-7 2012-04-26 Q16. – user2478 Aug 27 '12 at 16:18

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