I have a bunch of variables defined with similar names, e.g.:


All variables have a name wsteps + a letter, and I want to iterate over them using tikz's foreach:

\foreach \v in {A, ..., F} {
    \expandafter\let\expandafter\thisSteps\csname wsteps\v\endcsname
    \foreach \s/\e/\d in {\thisSteps} {
        % Do something...

But this gives me an error:

Package PGF Math Error: You've asked me to divide '0.5' by '0', but I cannot divide any number by '0' (in '1/2/0').

But if I do not use a variable thisSteps, this works fine:

\foreach \s/\e/\d in {1/2/0,2/3.5/1} {


Is there a way to make the first snippet working?

  • 2
    You should use \foreach \s/\e/\d in \thisSteps without {}
    – Kpym
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 13:00
  • @Kpym Forget my previous command, this works within a MCVE, so the new error is somewhere else. You can post this as an answer if you want.
    – Holt
    Commented Apr 13, 2018 at 13:05
  • @Kpym Care for an answer?
    – percusse
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 18:08
  • @percusse I'm on vacation, so if somebody can answer it , I'll be ok with that :)
    – Kpym
    Commented Jul 30, 2018 at 18:16

1 Answer 1


When the iterators are given to a foreach macro it treats the contents as a grouped entity. That is to say wrapped around a curly brace. Here because you add extra {} TikZ tries to see where the comma is but can't find it and decides that \thisSteps is the only element and the loop spins only once assigning \s, to 1/2/0 which results in divide by zero.

Hence as Kpym (aka TikZer Woods) mentioned you have to strip off the braces for TikZ to expand it and check its contents.

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