In the current pgmanual, at page 976, section 96.2, you can find this:

enter image description here

...and as you can see, even the example in the manual is showing that the command is not working. I checked that:

    \draw[help lines] (0,0) grid (3,2);
    \foreach \angle in {0,10,...,90}
    {\pgfpathcircle{\pgfpointpolar{\angle}{1cm and 2cm}}{2pt}}

do indeed work:

enter image description here

Can I safely use the and syntax in my code? I suppose this is a bug in the manual, maybe remnant of an old way of expressing elliptical axis; I think that the ...and... syntax is the modern one. Am I correct?

  • Which version of TikZ are you running? For me, the manual has something completely different on page 976.
    – TeXnician
    Apr 16, 2019 at 7:36
  • 3
    I probably have the same version as the OP, TikZ/PGF 3.0.1a (from TeX Live 2017), the snippets on page 976 are from Section 96 "Specifying Coordinates", subsection 96.2 "Basic Coordinate Commands". The manual of 3.1.2 (currently on CTAN) contains the code in Section 101.2 (page 1059), and uses and syntax. Coincidentely, and in the snippet is a hyperlink referring to the definition of the operator on page 976.
    – Marijn
    Apr 16, 2019 at 8:32
  • @Marijn thanks --- so I can safely use and. I have the version that come with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, so yes, it's TeXLive 2017. I know, I'll should switch to a more flexible latex setup... Would you like to make this an answer?
    – Rmano
    Apr 16, 2019 at 9:47
  • Check out the very newest TikZ on GitHub. I see section 87.6.5 (oh a nice number) on page 976, not section 96.2.
    – user156344
    Apr 16, 2019 at 10:26
  • -1 TeX.SX is not a bugtracker! Apr 16, 2019 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


The snippets in the question are from the TikZ/PGF manual for version 3.0.1a. The manual for version 3.1.2 (on CTAN since April 6, 2019) contains the code in Section 101.2 (page 1059). The code is identical except for the use of and instead of /, as shown in the question.

Note that the new manual is still a bit confusing and inconsistent. The command entry is \pgfpointpolar{<degree>}{<radius>/<y-radius>}, as in the older manual, which does not correspond to the code snippet, whereas for the related command \pgfpatharc (Section 102.6, page 1071) the entry is given as \pgfpatharc{<start angle>}{<end angle>}{<radius>and<y-radius>} with a snippet that uses and. But the snippets work, and and can be used safely.

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