I'm typesetting a drawing for an assignment, but I can only change what's in \begin{document} -- that is, I can't add any packages or make any changes in the preamble. Unfortunately, the platform I'm working on doesn't have tikz or pgfplots installed, so is there a way I can make basic drawings without using either package? (e.g. drawing squares and points)

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    For simple diagrams you can use picture mode, which is in the LaTeX kernel. But without an example of what you need… – egreg Mar 11 '18 at 23:17
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    Or you could draw your images with tikz/pgfplots in an own document and add them as images to the document where you don't have control over the preamble. – user36296 Mar 11 '18 at 23:27
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    There are portable installations of TeX systems. you canuse them – percusse Mar 11 '18 at 23:35
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    I think that this might interest you. No packages needed! – Phelype Oleinik Mar 11 '18 at 23:48
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    you can do technical drawings such as aircraft design without using any packages – David Carlisle Mar 11 '18 at 23:54

Assume the following:

  • xcolor is in your preamble, or you know how to define \colorlet;
  • you can copy files to the working directory (the one that \includegraphics will search in),

Then you can still \input necessary PGF files manually. For example



A rectangle


A point


A curve


You can further input TikZ if necessary.

\input pgffor.code.tex

A lot of points
\par\foreach\n in{1,...,200}{
    \pgfmathsetmacro\x{cos(\n r)*sqrt(\n)*10+200}\xdef\x{\x}
    \pgfmathsetmacro\y{sin(\n r)*sqrt(\n)*10-100}\xdef\y{\y}
    \pgfpathcircle{\pgfpoint{\x pt}{\y pt}}{2pt}


\input pgfmoduleplot.code.tex
\input tikz.code.tex

A plot
\tikz\draw[scale=3,domain=0:4,samples=300]plot({cos(3*\x r)},{sin(5*\x r)});

  • I believe you forgot \makeatother after \inputting the pgf files. – campa Mar 12 '18 at 15:14
  • @campa, it is not needed as well as \makeatletter is superfluous. – Zarko Mar 12 '18 at 15:33
  • @Zarko You were right. I added it when I was searching for the shortest list of \input --- some files are supposed to be included by the root so they do not bother to make at letter again. – Symbol 1 Mar 12 '18 at 15:35
  • @Zarko I am not convinced. The first included file alone redefines the catcode of @. If I take the code in the answer and remove \makeatletter and add a macro \fo@ I get the error Undefined \fo@ and not undefined \fo, which clearly indicates that @ is still considered a letter. Unless of course I am greatly misunderstanding something. – campa Mar 12 '18 at 15:40
  • @campa, sorry but this i can't find in answer code. probably i miss something. also i didn't test the solution (since i'm sure that shoved images are produced with this code. – Zarko Mar 12 '18 at 15:49

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