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How to place a node in the middle of an arc?

A very common problem I come across drawing technical pictures is drawing zillions of angles. In general, there is no nice way to put a node to an arc, so I usually have to do this

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}

\begin{document}
\begin{tikzpicture}
\draw (0,0) -- (0:2cm);      %rays
\draw (0,0) -- (60:2cm);

\draw (1cm,0) arc (0:60:1cm); % angle
\draw (30:1cm+20pt) node {$\alpha$};
\end{tikzpicture}
\end{document}

I wonder if there is a way to simplify last two commands. Of course I could define a \newcommand{\angle}[4] which looks very awkward. I would rather use something like that

\draw (1cm,0) arc (0:60:1cm) node[outarc=20pt] {$\alpha$};

Is it possible to define "outarc" position of the node?

enter image description here

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  • Could you add a picture of what you would like outarc to do? – Andrew Stacey Aug 17 '12 at 13:01
  • This is fixed in the CVS version. See this question and cjorssen's answer : tex.stackexchange.com/questions/38763/… – percusse Aug 17 '12 at 13:31
  • @percusse a) what means CVS version? b) Is it possible to put node by certain length away or toward the center of arc? cjorssen's answer only concerns midway. – Pygmalion Aug 17 '12 at 13:37
  • a) CVS version is the development version of the upcoming release so it's the beta version if you like. You can find it in here. b) You can also add above=1cm or pos=0.3 etc. for relative positioning with respect to the arc. – percusse Aug 17 '12 at 13:48
  • @AndrewStacey I've added picture. I want node to be put in the middle of the arc, for user-specified distance from the arc. – Pygmalion Aug 17 '12 at 13:49

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