Presumably the "Ti" in TikZ comes from Till Tantau. If so, what does the rest of the name stand for? If not, why is the package named that way?

  • 8
    TikZ stands for "TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm". (I read it as "Till ist kein Zauberer". ;-)
    – user121799
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 22:47
  • 1
    @marmot But then it's not recursive anymore. Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 22:51
  • 15
    @HenriMenke Yes, that's precisely why I'm memorizing it that way, otherwise I would run out of memory very quickly! ;-)
    – user121799
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


It's a recursive acronym and it is explained in the manual.

enter image description here

(German for: TikZ is not a drawing program)

I guess the first letter T stems from Till Tantau.

Just in case the question comes up, PGF stands for “portable graphics format“. From the manual as well (emphasis is mine):

enter image description here

  • 6
    But isn't it a Zeichenprogramm? At least, I'm sure that's what most people use it for Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 1:00
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    @SkeletonBow It's in the docs: »In a sense, when you use TikZ you “program” your graphics, just as you “program” your document when you use TeX. This also explains the name: TikZ is a recursive accronym in the tradition of “GNU is not unix” and means “TikZ ist kein Zeichenprogramm,” which translates to “TikZ is not a drawing program,” cautioning the reader as to what to expect.« Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 1:17
  • 1
    Pedantry: It's German for TikZ is no drawing program.
    – wizzwizz4
    Commented Apr 4, 2018 at 10:13

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