In the code below, I would like to add one text inside one "circled" arrow in gray like in the following ugly draw.


enter image description here



            rectangle, draw,
            text width = 6em, text centered,
            minimum height = 4em, drop shadow, fill=lime!40,
            rounded corners,
            draw, -latex', rounded corners = 3mm,


\begin{tikzpicture}[font=\small\sffamily\bfseries,very thick,node distance = 4cm]
    \node [frame] (pop) {Population};
    \node [above=2cm, left of=pop] (init) {Initialisation};
    \node [below=2cm, left of=pop] (term) {Termination};
    \node [frame, above=2cm, right of=pop] (parents)  {Parents};
    \node [frame, below=2cm, right of=pop] (off)  {Offspring};

    \path [line] (parents)
     -- node[right,align=left,pos=.5] {Recombination\\[3mm]Mutation}
    \path [line] (init) |- (pop.170);
    \path [line] (pop.190) -| (term);
    \path [line] (off) -| node[below,pos=.25, align=center] {Survivor\\ selection}(pop);
    \path [line] (pop) |- node[above,pos=.75, align=center] {Parents\\ selection}(parents);


3 Answers 3


UPDATED: New version supporting styles, and new example:

This command can be useful:

\def\circledarrow#1#2#3{ % #1 Style, #2 Center, #3 Radius
\draw[#1,->] (#2) +(80:#3) arc(80:-260:#3);

It can be used as part of a Tikz picture like this:

\node (text) {$n$ times};
\circledarrow{ultra thick, gray}{text}{1cm};


  • my question becomes : "How to put this at the center of the triangle Population-Parents-Offspring ?".
    – projetmbc
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:14
  • There's no need of the final ; for \circledarrow within tikzpicture unless you define it as \def\circledarrow#1#2#3;{. Only in that case you necessary need to use it. Jan 24, 2013 at 17:14
  • @projetmbc check "barycentric systems" in the PGF/Tikz manual Jan 24, 2013 at 17:29
  • @ClaudioFiandrino Yes, I know, but it doesn't hurt either (all text out of a tikz command inside a tikz environment is ignored, as it is the case for that semicolon). And I prefer how to looks the code with the ;
    – JLDiaz
    Jan 24, 2013 at 17:59
  • @LionelMANSUY : it seems that I need to define coordinates. Isn't it ?
    – projetmbc
    Jan 24, 2013 at 19:26

My solution provides

  • a new node shape circle arrow,
  • three keys that work exactly like the keys for the arc operator:
    • /qrr/circle arrow/start angle,
    • /qrr/circle arrow/end angle,
    • /qrr/circle arrow/delta angle,
  • and a key /qrr/circle arrow/arrows that sets the arrows for the arc.

I have also added a few styles the pre-set the direction and the open part of the circle. Hopefully they are self-explanatory (see the example below).


    /qrr/circle arrow/.cd,
    start angle/.initial={},
    delta angle/.initial={},
    end angle/.initial={},
    arrows/.estore in=\qrr@ca@arrow,
\pgfdeclareshape{circle arrow}{
    \inheritsavedanchors[from=circle] \inheritanchorborder[from=circle]
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{north}      \inheritanchor[from=circle]{north west}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{north east} \inheritanchor[from=circle]{center}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{west}       \inheritanchor[from=circle]{east}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{mid}        \inheritanchor[from=circle]{mid west}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{mid east}   \inheritanchor[from=circle]{base}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{base west}  \inheritanchor[from=circle]{base east}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{south}      \inheritanchor[from=circle]{south west}
    \inheritanchor[from=circle]{south east}
        \pgfkeysgetvalue{/qrr/circle arrow/start angle}\qrr@ca@s
        \pgfkeysgetvalue{/qrr/circle arrow/end angle}\qrr@ca@e
        \pgfkeysgetvalue{/qrr/circle arrow/delta angle}\qrr@ca@d
        \pgfkeys{/tikz/arrows/.expand once=\qrr@ca@arrow}%
\tikzset{% the first two styles are internal, they do not work alone!
    turn left/.style={/tikz/shape=circle arrow,/qrr/circle arrow/arrows=->,/qrr/circle arrow/delta angle=340},
    turn right/.style={/tikz/shape=circle arrow,/qrr/circle arrow/arrows=<-,/qrr/circle arrow/delta angle=340},
    turn left north/.style  = {/tikz/turn left,  /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=100} ,
    turn left east/.style   = {/tikz/turn left,  /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=10},
    turn left south/.style  = {/tikz/turn left,  /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=280},
    turn left west/.style   = {/tikz/turn left,  /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=190},
    turn right north/.style = {/tikz/turn right, /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=100} ,
    turn right east/.style  = {/tikz/turn right, /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=10},
    turn right south/.style = {/tikz/turn right, /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=280},
    turn right west/.style  = {/tikz/turn right, /qrr/circle arrow/start angle=190},
\matrix[matrix of nodes,draw=none,row sep=1em,column sep=1em,
    every node/.style={draw=gray,ultra thick, inner sep=.5em,font=$n$ times}
] (m) {
    |[turn left north]|  & |[turn left east]|   \\
    |[turn left west]|   & |[turn left south]|  \\
    |[turn right north]| & |[turn right east]|  \\
    |[turn right west]|  & |[turn right south]| \\


enter image description here

  • Of course, defining a new node shape is the right way to do it, but I was too lazy. +1
    – JLDiaz
    Jan 25, 2013 at 0:16

Just like this, with appropriates values:

\draw[->,>=latex'] (pointA) arc[radius=1cm,start angle=0,delta angle=270];

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