What are the differences between \visible<>{}, \uncover<>{} and \only<>{} in beamer/tikz? At the moment I am using them interchangeably and could not understand their particular use cases.

I think one of them already assigns the space required for the object to be revealed and one of them reveals the object and required space gradually.

Can anyone once for ever clear this up?


1 Answer 1


Here a simple example where you can see the difference between the macros. \visible will reserve the space, depending on your settings \uncover can be dimmed on pervious overlays and \only is only present on the specified overlays:




text \visible<2>{text} text 

text \uncover<2>{text} text 

text \only<2>{text} text 


enter image description here

For a more detailed explanation, see section 9.3 Commands with Overlay Specifications of the beamer user guide https://texdoc.org/serve/beamer/0

  • Very good example. Thank you.. better than all those explanations in the beamer document. I just want to complete this answer by saying that you are showing the first slide and \only does not occupy any space for its text. It was a bit confusing in the beginning for me.
    – Puya
    Commented May 3, 2023 at 10:08
  • 1
    @Puya yes, the content of \only is not present on previous overlays. It is not just that it doesn't occupy space, it just isn't there. This distinction is important to remeber if you use labels, make definition or increase counters within \only Commented May 3, 2023 at 10:09

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