Please ignore the binary numbers.

enter image description here

Without finding the intersection points in advance, is it possible to fill the complement of (A union B union C) with a solid color but the remaining regions remain transparent?

  • 1
    You have 8 regions and you can draw each region seperately as a closed path. So a macro can receive 8 bit number and pass fill=blue option to the path if it's 1 or 0 at the specific digit.
    – percusse
    Aug 16, 2012 at 13:28
  • @percusse: How can you get the 8 regions without finding the intersection points in advance? :-) Aug 16, 2012 at 13:39
  • Using geometry is one option (assuming that the circles are the same for all three and have predefined coordinates).
    – percusse
    Aug 16, 2012 at 13:40

2 Answers 2


Using the approach described in How can I invert a 'clip' selection within TikZ?:


\tikzstyle{reverseclip}=[insert path={(current page.north east) --
  (current page.south east) --
  (current page.south west) --
  (current page.north west) --
  (current page.north east)}

\begin{tikzpicture}[remember picture]

\draw [gray!20, ultra thick] (-3,-3) grid (3,3);

\path  [clip] (90:0.7cm) circle [radius=1cm] [reverseclip];
\path  [clip] (-30:0.7cm) circle [radius=1cm] [reverseclip];
\path  [clip] (210:0.7cm) circle [radius=1cm] [reverseclip];

\fill [orange] (-2,-2) rectangle (2,2);
  • I haven't known whether or not PSTricks has reverse clip. Aug 16, 2012 at 14:09
  • I see you have defined a path around the whole page, can I use this path to fill the page with orange?
    – qed
    Oct 25, 2013 at 10:45
  • @qed: Sure. You can use \fill [orange] (current page.north west) rectangle (current page.south east);. Note that you need to have the options remember picture, overlay in your tikzpicture options, and you need to compile the document twice.
    – Jake
    Oct 25, 2013 at 11:04
  • why is it necessary to remember the position of current picture in this case? And what is the difference between current page and current picture?
    – qed
    Oct 25, 2013 at 11:15
  • @qed: Take a look at section 16.13.2 "Referencing the Current Page Node" in the PGF manual.
    – Jake
    Oct 25, 2013 at 11:17

needs the latest pstricks.tex from http://texnik.dante.de/tex/generic/pstricks/ available on CTAN in a few days





but there are still some small lines for the circles:

enter image description here

  • Can PSTricks have reverse clip feature as Tikz? Aug 21, 2012 at 13:09
  • sure, needs only one who implements it ...
    – user2478
    Aug 21, 2012 at 13:17
  • I have not seen your PSTricks book because it is not available on the bookstore. Amazon.com also does not provide us with its table of contents. My question: what is the difference between the PSTricks package manuals and your PSTricks book? I am interested to know the details about PSTricks programming for hackers only (TVZ's manual on printed page number 38) and creating low/high level objects (TVZ's manual on printed page number 163-). Are both these topics elaborated in your PSTricks book? Aug 21, 2012 at 13:39
  • see archiv.dante.de/~herbert/Books
    – user2478
    Aug 21, 2012 at 14:12
  • How to completely remove the unwanted thin but visible paths? Oct 25, 2013 at 8:59

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