I have a figure contains a web server as well as database symbols and I would like to create it using latex. Is there a way to approach it in latex? I am still new in learning tikz package but I included what I have tried to achieve this figure. The figure is as follows:

enter image description here

The current work I did to achieve this graph is as follows:


\usetikzlibrary{shapes.geometric, arrows}



\tikzstyle{startstop} = [rectangle, rounded corners, minimum width=3cm, minimum height=1cm,text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB2]

\tikzstyle{process} = [rectangle, minimum width=3cm, minimum height=1cm, text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB1]

\tikzstyle{arrow} = [thick,->,>=stealth]

\begin{tikzpicture}[node distance=2cm]

\node (pro1) [process] {Process 1};
\node (dec1) [process, below of=pro1] {Decision 1};
\node (pro2a) [process, below of=dec1, yshift=-0.5cm] {Process 2a};
\node (pro2b) [process, right of=dec1, xshift=2cm, startstop] {Process 2b};
\node (out1) [process, below of=pro2a] {Output};
\node (stop) [process, below of=out1] {Stop};

\draw [arrow] (pro1) -- (dec1);
\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- (pro2a);
\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- (pro2b);

\draw [arrow] (dec1) -- node[anchor=east](pro2a);
\draw [->] (dec1) -- (pro2b);
\draw [<-] (pro2b) --  (dec1);
\draw [arrow]  (pro2a) --  (out1);
\draw [arrow] (out1) --  (stop);



The original source of the two symbols is taking from this online tool in the network category as shown in the following figure: enter image description here

Thank you

  • 1
    If you can find clip art for your symbols, not a problem. Use TikZ or one of its many children. – John Kormylo Apr 6 '18 at 3:17
  • 1
    Please add a minimal working example (MWE) of what you've tried so far. – CarLaTeX Apr 6 '18 at 5:07
  • 1
    Show what you have tried. – Henri Menke Apr 6 '18 at 7:03
  • 1
    @HenriMenke Thank you for your comments. I am still new in using this package but I included the current try I did to achieve this figure. – User505 Apr 6 '18 at 11:41
  • 1
    @User505 Great! Please remember to always add what you have tried in all your future questions as well. I voted to reopen and you should recieve an answer shortly. – Henri Menke Apr 6 '18 at 12:04

For node positioning, you could also use a TikZ matrix.

If you call it m, you could refer its cells as m-row_number-column_number.

For the style setting, see here: Should \tikzset or \tikzstyle be used to define TikZ styles?.

Of course, you will put your images instead of example-image-a and example-image-b.

\usetikzlibrary{fit, backgrounds, matrix, arrows.meta}
        rectangle, rounded corners, minimum width=2cm,  
        minimum height=1.5cm,text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB2
        rectangle, minimum width=2.5cm, minimum height=1cm, text centered, draw=black, fill=RYB1
        blue, dashed,-{Stealth[length=6pt]}


    % blocks
    \matrix[matrix of nodes,
        row sep=4ex,
        column sep=5.4em,
        column 2/.style={nodes={process}},
        ] (m) {
        & Text &&[-3em]\\
        |[inner sep=0pt]|\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-a} & Text &&\\[-2ex]
        & Text & |[startstop]| Text & |[inner sep=0pt]|\includegraphics[height=.5cm]{example-image-b} \\[7ex]
        & Text &&\\
        & Text &&\\
    % block background
    \begin{scope}[on background layer]
        \node [draw, fit=(m-1-2)(m-3-2), fill=cyan!5, inner sep=10pt] {};
        \node [draw, fit=(m-4-2)(m-5-2), fill=cyan!5, inner sep=10pt] {};
    % vertical arrows
    \foreach[evaluate=\myblock as \mysucc using int(\myblock+1)] 
        \myblock in {1,2,...,4}
        {\draw[arrow] (m-\myblock-2) -- (m-\mysucc-2);}
    % horizontal arrows
    \coordinate (a) at ([yshift=2ex]m-2-2.west);
    \draw[dasharrow] (a) -- (m-2-1.east|-a) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (b) at ([yshift=-2ex]m-2-2.west);
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-2-1.east|-b) -- (b) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (c) at ([yshift=2ex]m-3-2.east);
    \draw[dasharrow] (c) -- (m-3-3.west|-c) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \coordinate (d) at ([yshift=-2ex]m-3-2.east);
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-3-3.west|-d) -- (d) node[midway, above]{Text};
    \draw[dasharrow] ([yshift=4ex]m-3-3.east) -| (m-3-4);   
    \draw[dasharrow] (m-3-4) |- ([yshift=-4ex]m-3-3.east);

enter image description here

  • Thank you very much for your answer the exact same think. – User505 Apr 7 '18 at 8:52
  • 1
    @User505 Thank you, we are always happy to answer questions with a MWE! – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 8:57
  • I would like to ask you about how can I modify the length of the dashed arrow if the text above it was a little bit long like (texttexttexttext) which line I should modify – User505 Apr 7 '18 at 9:28
  • 1
    @User505 You could increase the column sep=5.4em, but you have to shorten the process blocks afterward, otherwise you have an Overfull hbox warning. Another solution could be node[midway, above, align=center]{Texttext\\texttext}. If this comment doesn't help you, don't hesitate to ask a new question! – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 9:39
  • 1
    @User505 Yes, you can, of course! In the first row of the matrix, where there is &[-3em] put &[-6em] or any other value you like. We are here to help :) – CarLaTeX Apr 7 '18 at 11:28

You can easily box a group of nodes using the fit library. To place nodes relative to each other you should use the positioning library (the below of=<node> syntax is actually undocumented and has limitations). Your clip arts can be embedded using nodes containing a simple \includegraphics.


  process/.style = {draw,fill=blue!20,minimum width=3cm,minimum height=1cm}

  \node[process]             (n1) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n1] (n2) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n2] (n3) {Text};
  \node[draw,fit=(n1) (n2) (n3)] {};

  \node[left=of n2] (l1) {\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-a}};
  \draw[dashed,->] (n2) to[bend left] (l1);
  \draw[dashed,->] (l1) to[bend left] (n2);

  \node[process,right=of n3] (r1) {Text};
  \node[right=of r1] (r2) {\includegraphics[width=2cm]{example-image-b}};
  \draw[dashed,->] (n3) to[bend left] (r1);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r1) to[bend left] (n3);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r1) to[bend left] (r2);
  \draw[dashed,->] (r2) to[bend left] (r1);

  \node[process,below=of n3] (n4) {Text};
  \node[process,below=of n4] (n5) {Text};
  \node[draw,fit=(n4) (n5)] {};

  \draw[->] (n1) -- (n2);
  \draw[->] (n2) -- (n3);
  \draw[->] (n3) -- (n4);
  \draw[->] (n4) -- (n5);



enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.