I am not experienced at TikZ at all, so I decided to use Inkscape. Using Inkscape, I recreated this diagram (p. 13)Screenshot. In Inkscape, it looks pretty good, with the labels (i.e. Eluent and Probe) nicely moved from the part.

However, if I save it as a PDF, following this workflow, I get the following (yellow boxes added to show issues): Screenshot Two

In some cases (e.g. Trennsäule), the text isn't in conflict with the image. However, in the outlined cases, it is.

Is there a way to adjust the labels manually, if you have the .pdf_tex?


%%Removed all the text above to reduce the code.
    \errmessage{(Inkscape) Color is used for the text in Inkscape, but the package 'color.sty' is not loaded}%
    \errmessage{(Inkscape) Transparency is used (non-zero) for the text in Inkscape, but the package 'transparent.sty' is not loaded}%
  \newcommand*\fsize{\dimexpr\f@size pt\relax}%
      \setlength{\unitlength}{\unitlength * \real{\svgscale}}%
    \put(0.72131691,0.47639177){\color[rgb]{0,0,0}\makebox(0,0)[lt]{\lineheight{1.25}\smash{\begin{tabular}[t]{l}Nachreaktor /\\Derivatisierung\end{tabular}}}}%


The .tex file:

\caption{A caption.}

1 Answer 1


In my experience, it is easier to apply some tweaks to the SVG file and then re-export to PDF+TeX. Trying to adjust the pdf_tex is nearly as complicated as doing the full drawing in TikZ from the start.

From your pdf_tex I see a lot of \makebox(0,0)[lt] which means you chose left-alignment for all your text elements. This brings you into trouble when the font size in Inkscape doesn't match the font size in LaTeX. So there are two ways:

  • Adjust the font size by adding one of \small, footnotesize, etc. before your input (perhaps in a group, {\small\input{drawing.pdf_tex}}) such that the text takes roughly the same space as in Inkscape and the overlays vanish.

  • The export to PDF+TeX respects the horizontal alignment chosen in Inkscape. As an example, changing "Probeschleife" to right-aligned in Inkscape (the text there will still be in the same position) results in a \makebox(0,0)[rt], and thus the text will not overlay with the drawings to the right even if the text is larger than in Inkscape.

So, my advice is: In Inkscape, use left-alignment for labels right of the drawings, right-alignment for labels left of the drawings, and center-alignment for labels below/above the drawings; and then experiment with different font sizes right in front of the \input statement.

  • Thank you for your answer. I will try it out.
    – Max R
    Feb 9, 2019 at 13:24
  • It got rid of the overlaps, however the labels are shifted right, even tough I set them center-aligned in Inkscape and center aligned them with the object.
    – Max R
    Feb 9, 2019 at 14:01

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