High all, this is related to a previous question I asked (see here). I would like to make the double arrow between the alcohol and the amine curved (annotated with blue nodes above and below the arrow):

enter image description here

Here is the code used to generate the image:

\usepackage[left=0.00cm, right=0.00cm]{geometry}
\tikzset{two parallel arrows/.style={decorate,decoration={show path construction,
            lineto code={
                \draw [-latex] ($(\tikzinputsegmentfirst)!#1!90:(\tikzinputsegmentlast)$) 
                -- ($(\tikzinputsegmentlast)!#1!-90:(\tikzinputsegmentfirst)$); 
                \draw [latex-] ($(\tikzinputsegmentfirst)!#1!-90:(\tikzinputsegmentlast)$) 
                -- ($(\tikzinputsegmentlast)!#1!90:(\tikzinputsegmentfirst)$); 
    }}},two parallel arrows/.default=2pt}
        {$\left\delimleft\vrule height\delimhalfdim depth\delimhalfdim
        {$\left.\vrule height\delimhalfdim depth\delimhalfdim
\setchemfig{atom sep=2em}
% ---------------- LABELS ----------------
\node[mainColor] (alkyne) at (0,0) {Alkyne};
\node[below] at (0,-0.15) {{\footnotesize \chemfig{-C~C-}}};
\node[mainColor] (haloalkene) at (2,3) {Haloalkene};
\node[align=left] at (2.8,2.1) {{\footnotesize \chemfig{C(-[:-120])(-[:120]R)=C(-[:60]X)-[:-60]}}};
\node[mainColor] (haloalkane) at (0,6) {Haloalkane};
\node[align=left] at (1.8,6) {{\footnotesize \chemfig{-C(-[:90]R1)(-[:-90]R2)-C(-[:90]X)(-[:-90]R3)-}}};
\node[mainColor] (alkane) at (-1,3) {Alkane};
\node at (0.2,3.3) {\footnotesize\chemfig{-C(-[:90]H)(-[:-90]H)-C(-[:90]H)(-[:-90]H)-}};
\node[mainColor] (tertiaryalcohol) at (0,8) {3$^\circ$ Alcohol};
\node at (1.5,7.8) {\footnotesize\chemfig{(-[:-90]R2)(-[:-150]R1)(-[:-30]R3)-[:90]OH}};
\node[mainColor] (alkene) at (-3.3,3) {Alkene};
\node at (-3.2,2) {\footnotesize\chemfig{H-[:-60]C(-[:-120])=C(-[:60]H)-[:-60]}};
\node[mainColor] (ketone) at (-4.5,0) {Ketone};
\node at (-4.5,-0.6) {\footnotesize\chemfig{R1-C(=[:90]O)-R2}};
\node[mainColor] (alcohol) at (-7,3) {Alcohol};
\node[mainColor] (glucose) at (-7,5.5) {Glucose};
\node at (-7,6.5) {\footnotesize\setchemfig{cram width=2pt}
        line width=2pt](-[6,0.7]OH)>[1,0.7](-[6,0.7]OH)-[3,0.7]
\node[mainColor] (ester) at (-7,-1) {Ester};
\node at (-6.2,-1.3) {\footnotesize{\chemfig{R1-C(=[:90]O)-O-R2}}};
\node[mainColor] (carboxylicacid) at (-10.5,1) {Carboxylic Acid};
\node at (-12.5,1) {\footnotesize{\chemfig{R-[:30]C(=[:90]O)-[:-30]OH}}};
\node[mainColor] (aldehyde) at (-10.5,2.5) {Aldehyde};
\node at (-10.5,3.4) {\footnotesize{\chemfig{R-[:30]C(=[:90]O)-[:-30]H}}};
\node[mainColor] (amide) at (-10.5,-1) {Amide};
\node at (-12.5,-1) {\footnotesize{\chemfig{R1-C(=[:90]O)-N(-[:-90]H)-R2}}};
\node[mainColor] (amine) at (-9.25,0.25) {Amine};
\node at (-8.75,-0.5) {\footnotesize{\chemfig{H-N(-[:60]R1)-[:-60]R2}}};
\node[mainColor] (amine2) at (-10.5,4.5) {Amine}; % LABEL FOR AMINE
\node[mainColor] (cellulose) at (-10.5,5.5) {Cellulose};
\node at (-11,6.7) {\footnotesize{\setchemfig{cram width=2pt}
            line width=2pt](-[6,0.7]OH)>[1,0.7](-[@{right}])-[3,0.7]
\node[mainColor,align=center] (acidchloride) at (-12.55,2.5) {Acid\\Chloride};
\node at (-12.5,3.4) {\footnotesize\chemfig{R-[:30]C(=[:90]O)-[:-30]Cl}};
\node[mainColor] (amide2) at (-12.55,4.5) {Amide};
\node[rectangle split,rectangle split horizontal, rectangle split parts=2, draw, anchor=center,
below=0pt of alcohol] (degrees) {1$^\circ$ \nodepart{two} 2$^\circ$};
\draw[decorate,decoration=brace] (degrees.south east) -- 
(degrees.south west) coordinate[midway,below=2pt] (brace);
\draw (degrees.south east) +(-85:0.5) node {\footnotesize\chemfig{-[:30,0.7](-[:90,0.7]OH)-[:-30,0.7]}};
\draw (degrees.south west) +(-120:0.5) node {\footnotesize{\chemfig{R-[:30]-[:-30]OH}}};
% ---------------- ARROWS ----------------
\draw[-latex] (alkyne) -- node[above,midway,sloped] {{\footnotesize \ce{HX}, \ce{X2}}} (haloalkene); 
\draw[-latex] (haloalkene) -- node[above,midway,sloped] {{\footnotesize \ce{H2}, \ce{Pd}/\ce{C}}} (haloalkane);
\draw[-latex] (alkyne) -- node[above,midway,sloped] {{\footnotesize \ce{H2}, \ce{Pd}/\ce{C}}} (alkane);
\draw[-latex] (alkane) -- node[above,sloped,midway] {{\footnotesize \ce{X2}, UV light}} (haloalkane);
\draw[-latex] (alkene) -- node[midway,above] {{\footnotesize \ce{H2}, \ce{Pd}/\ce{C}}} (alkane);
\draw[-latex] (alkyne) -- node[above,midway,sloped] {{\footnotesize \ce{H2O}, \ce{H2SO4}, \ce{HgSO4}}} (ketone);
\draw[-latex] (degrees.east) ..controls +(0:1) and +(90:1) .. node[xshift=0.2cm,yshift=-0.1cm,above,midway,sloped] {\footnotesize \ce{H+}/\ce{Cr2O^{2-}_{7}}} (ketone);
\draw[two parallel arrows] (alcohol) -- node[below,midway,sloped,align=center] {\footnotesize {dil. \ce{NaOH}}\\\footnotesize{acetone solv.}} node[above,midway,sloped] {\footnotesize\ce{HX}} (haloalkane);
\draw[-latex] (haloalkane) -- node[midway,left,align=right] {\footnotesize\ce{H2O} with\\\footnotesize dil. \ce{NaOH}\\\footnotesize{acetone solv.}} (tertiaryalcohol);
\draw[-latex] (alkene) -- node[midway,above,sloped] {\footnotesize\ce{HX}, \ce{X2}} (haloalkane);
\draw[two parallel arrows] (alcohol) -- node[above,midway] {\footnotesize Conc. \ce{H+}} node[below,midway] {\footnotesize\ce{H2O}, dil. \ce{H+}} (alkene); 
\draw[-latex] (glucose) -- (alcohol);
\draw (brace) -- node[right,midway,align=left] {\footnotesize{conc.}\\\footnotesize\ce{H2SO4}\\\footnotesize{reflux}} (ester);
\draw[-latex] (degrees.west) -- node[midway,above,sloped,align=center] {\footnotesize{limited}\\\footnotesize \ce{H+}/\ce{Cr2O^{2-}_{7}}} (aldehyde);
\draw[-latex] (aldehyde) -- node[midway,right,align=left] {\footnotesize \ce{H+}/\ce{Cr2O^{2-}_{7}}} (carboxylicacid);
\draw (carboxylicacid) -- node[midway,left,align=right,xshift=-2mm] {\footnotesize{heat}\\\footnotesize{DCC reflux}} (amide);
\draw[two parallel arrows,blue] (alcohol.north west) -- node[midway,below,sloped] {\footnotesize\ce{NH3}} node[above,midway,sloped] {\footnotesize{\ce{NaNO2}, dil. \ce{HCl}}} (amine2.east); %CURVED DOUBLE ARROW DESIRED HERE
\draw[-latex] (cellulose) -- node[midway,above,align=center] {\footnotesize{cellulase or}\\\footnotesize{conc. \ce{H+}}} (glucose);
\draw[-latex] ([xshift=60pt]glucose.east) node[right] {{\ce{CO2 +H2O}}} -- node[midway,above] {\footnotesize{light}} node[midway,below] {\footnotesize{chlorophyll}} (glucose);
\draw[-latex] ([xshift=60pt]glucose.east) .. controls +(180:1.75) and +(-90:1).. +(-1.5,1) node[above] {\ce{O2}};
\draw[-latex] ([xshift=-10pt]carboxylicacid.north) .. controls +(90:0.7) and +(-90:0.7) .. node[midway,above] {\footnotesize\ce{SOCl2}} (acidchloride.south);
\draw[-latex] (acidchloride.east) .. controls +(45:0.5) and +(-45:0.5) .. node[midway,above right] {\footnotesize\ce{NH3}} (amide2.east);
% ---------------- ADDITIONAL DECORATIONS ----------------
\draw[-latex] (glucose) .. controls +(-90:1) and +(180:1) .. (-6,4.5) node[right] {\ce{CO2}};
\draw[-{Latex[harpoon]}] (carboxylicacid) to[out=0,in=90,looseness=1.6] (ester);
\draw[-{Latex[harpoon]}] ([xshift=-4pt]ester.north) -- ++ (0,1);
\draw[-{Latex[harpoon]}] (amine) to[out=180,in=90,looseness=1.6] (amide);
\draw[-{Latex[harpoon]}] ([xshift=-4pt]amide.north) -- ++ (-0,0.75);
\node at (-9,8.3) {\textbf{Note:} All organic compounds can undergo combustion reactions};
% ---------------- ADDITION POLYMERS ----------------
\node[align=center,mainColor] (additionpolymer) at (-1.5,1.5) {Addition\\Polymers};
\draw[-latex] (alkene.south east) +(0,0.1) .. controls +(0:0.5) and +(90:0.5) .. (additionpolymer.north);
\draw[-latex,densely dashed] (haloalkene.south) .. controls +(-110:3) and +(-60:0.7) .. (additionpolymer.south);

Things I have tried include changing the lossness value, changing it to a bezier curve and defining a new decoration with looseness value or a bezier curve.

I have annotated the relevant sections in the above code. But I am essentially asking for how to draw arrows for something like this: enter image description here

  • May be this could be useful: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/228724/… Jun 21, 2019 at 7:54
  • @Raaja Just tried the bend argument, which changed the line to a double arrow but the labels behaved as if there was a straight line. If I change the -- inside the tikzpicture environment to the bend one, it doesn't come up with any line
    – sab hoque
    Jun 21, 2019 at 8:01
  • Something like this perhaps: %&lualatex % !TeX TXS-program:compile = txs:///pdflatex/[--shell-escape] \documentclass[convert={density=300,outext=.tiff}]{standalone} \usepackage{tikz} \usetikzlibrary{arrows} \begin{document} \begin{tikzpicture}[->,>=stealth',auto,node distance=3cm, thick,main node/.style={circle,draw,font=\sffamily\Large\bfseries}] \node[main node] (1) {a}; \node[main node] (2) [right of=1, yshift = 2cm] {b}; \draw [->] (1) to [out=90,in=150] (2); \draw [->,red] (2) to [out=160,in=80] (1); \end{tikzpicture} \end{document} Jun 21, 2019 at 8:19
  • to get: imgur.com/0NF1bfs. But this is hard-coded :) Jun 21, 2019 at 8:20
  • 1
    See tex.stackexchange.com/a/232468/121799.
    – user121799
    Jun 21, 2019 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


This is just for fun. Both Raaja's answer and Symbol 1's answer are great. However, the paths in Raaa's answer are not precisely parallel, and the ones in Symbol 1's answer cannot be colored individually (at least not in an obvious way). So here is something that allows one to record paths and then parallel transport them and so on. This solution makes use of decorations, so for very curvy paths it can lead to dimension too large errors, a limitation the above-mentioned answers do not have. This proposal can be used as follows. You need first to record the path, e.g.

\path[record path={name=AB}] (A) to[bend left] (B);

Then there will be two paths, one called top and the other bottom, which emerge from the above path by parallel transport. They can be reconstructed as follows:

 \draw[-latex,reconstruct top=AB];
 \draw[red,-latex,reconstruct bottom=AB]; 

Here is the full code with further examples, including a pattern between these paths. The only library that is needed for this stuff is decorations.markings, patterns and bending are just for the examples and optics.


  record path/.style={
    /utils/exec=\tikzset{parrow/.cd, #1},
      mark=at position 0 with {
        % init counter "parrow".
        % record coordinates (parrowt-<name>-1) and (parrowt-<name>-1).
          (0,\pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/parrow/dist}/2) coordinate
          (0,-\pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/parrow/dist}/2) coordinate
        % store step length (without unit) in \mystep globally.
      mark=between positions 2pt and 1 step \mystep pt with {
        % for every step, record coordinates (parrowt-<name>-<parrow>) and (parrowb-<name>-<parrow>)
          (0,\pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/parrow/dist}/2) coordinate
          (0,-\pgfkeysvalueof{/tikz/parrow/dist}/2) coordinate 
  reconstruct top/.style={
    % insert a path along recoreded coordinates (parrowt-<name>-<n>), where <n> = 1 to <parrow>
    insert path={
      plot[variable=\t, samples at={1,...,\number\value{parrow}}, smooth] (parrowt-#1-\t)
  reconstruct bottom/.style={
    % insert a path along recoreded coordinates (parrowt-<name>-<n>), where <n> = <parrow>-1 to 1
    insert path={%
      plot[variable=\t, samples at={\number\value{parrow}, \the\numexpr\value{parrow}-1,...,1}, smooth] (parrowb-#1-\t)
  parrow area/.style={
    % insert a closed path
    insert path={
      (parrowt-#1-1) [reconstruct top=#1] -- 
      (parrowb-#1-\number\value{parrow}) [reconstruct bottom=#1]  --
  % init keys


\begin{tikzpicture}[font=\sffamily, nodes={circle,draw}]
  \path (0,0) node (A) {A} 
        (3,1) node (B) {B} 
        (3.2,-1) node(C) {C} 
        (5,0) node (D) {D};

  % A to B
  \path[record path={name=AB}] (A) to[bend left] (B);
  \draw[-latex, reconstruct top=AB];
  \draw[red, -latex, reconstruct bottom=AB];

  % B to C
  \path[record path] (B) to[out=-90,in=160] (C);
  \path[pattern=north east lines, parrow area];
  \draw[-latex, reconstruct top];
  \draw[red, -latex, reconstruct bottom];

  % C to D
  \path[record path={name=CD, dist=5pt}] (C) to[bend left] (D);
  \fill[yellow, parrow area=CD];
  \draw[blue, -latex, reconstruct top=CD];
  \draw[orange, -latex, reconstruct bottom=CD];

enter image description here


A first possible approach based on: How do I make Tikz make a curved arrow from one node to another when my nodes are in a straight line? (see solution by erik)

% !TeX TXS-program:compile = txs:///xelatex/[--shell-escape]



\begin{tikzpicture}[->,>=stealth',auto,node distance=3cm,
  thick,main node/.style={circle,draw,font=\sffamily\Large\bfseries}]

  \node[main node] (1) {a};
  \node[main node] (2) [right of=1, yshift = 2cm] {b};

\draw [->] (1) to [out=90,in=150] (2);
\draw [->,red] (2) to [out=160,in=80] (1);

to get enter image description here

  • I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so was wondering if it was possible to make the lines parallel the whole way through. Though if not, I'll just draw two separate bezier curves like you suggested
    – sab hoque
    Jun 21, 2019 at 8:55
  • @sabhoque nice to hear that, I will try my best to give you with a solution :) Jun 21, 2019 at 9:54

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