Is there a guide or tutorial for someone who loves and has been using PSTricks for a very long time but would like to give Tikz a chance?

Ideally, I would like to know a few things:

  1. What are the main differences in terms of syntax?
  2. How to translate the most common PSTricks commands to Tikz?
  3. What is the equivalent of the most common PSTricks hacks or tricks?
  4. How to do basic computations on Tikz without PostScript? (I personally use PostScript for things like plotting nonlinear functions, finding the midpoint between two points, or drawing a line tangent to a curve)

1 Answer 1


This are just my opinion. I have been using PSTricks for almost two decades, and was very happy with it. But IMHO TikZ has set new standards. I am not using PSTricks any more, and in fact right now I am translating in old slides pictures from PSTricks to TikZ.

  1. TikZ is generally much more powerful, i.e. it is in most cases possible to translate PSTricks to TikZ without making the code longer, but the converse is not true. This is because TikZ has the \path construction and, very importantly, relative positioning. Of course, there are isolated examples in which the code becomes more lengthy with TikZ but in my experience these are very rare.
  2. I do the translation with my editor. The last command that I translated was



    \draw[line width=0.5mm,blue,-stealth]

    I would be very interested in learning better ways. But one can let the editor learn and repeat these, so after a short while this is reasonably efficient. Note that you can translate \rnode to \tikzmarknode, which requires the tikzmark library.

  3. Hard to answer because it would require a precise definition of the most common hacks.

  4. One of the main advantages of TikZ is its parser. Computations that I had to do painfully by hand get simply replaced by the expressions that then will be parsed by TikZ. For more complicated (but not too complicated) plots I recommend pgfplots.


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