PGF/TikZ Manual

The TikZ and PGF Packages
Manual for version 3.1.9a

The System Layer

120 Commands of the System Layer

120.1 Beginning and Ending a Stream of System Commands

A “user” of the pgf system layer (like the basic layer or a frontend) will interface with the system layer by calling a stream of commands starting with \pgfsys@. From the system layer’s point of view, these commands form a long stream. Between calls to the system layer, control goes back to the user.

The driver files implement system layer commands by inserting \special commands that implement the desired operation. For example, \pgfsys@stroke will be mapped to \special{pdf: S} by the driver file for pdftex.

For many drivers, when such a stream of specials starts, it is necessary to install an appropriate transformation and perhaps perform some more bureaucratic tasks. For this reason, every stream will start with a \pgfsys@beginpicture and will end with a corresponding ending command.

  • \pgfsys@beginpicture

  • Called at the beginning of a {pgfpicture}. This command should “set up things”.

    Most drivers will need to implement this command.

  • \pgfsys@endpicture

  • Called at the end of a {pgfpicture}.

    Most drivers will need to implement this command.

  • \pgfsys@typesetpicturebox{box}

  • Called after a {pgfpicture} has been typeset. The picture will have been put in box box. This command should insert the box into the normal text. The box box will still be a “raw” box that contains only the \special’s that make up the description of the picture. The job of this command is to resize and shift box according to the baseline shift and the size of the box.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

  • \pgfsys@beginpurepicture

  • This version of the \pgfsys@beginpicture picture command can be used for pictures that are guaranteed not to contain any escaped boxes (see below). In this case, a driver might provide a more compact version of the command.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

  • \pgfsys@endpurepicture

  • Called at the end of a “pure” {pgfpicture}.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

Inside a stream it is sometimes necessary to “escape” back into normal typesetting mode; for example to insert some normal text, but with all of the current transformations and clippings being in force. For this escaping, the following command is used:

  • \pgfsys@hbox{box number}

  • Called to insert a (horizontal) TeX box inside a {pgfpicture}.

    Most drivers will need to (re-)implement this command.

  • \pgfsys@hboxsynced{box number}

  • Called to insert a (horizontal) TeX box inside a {pgfpicture}, but with the current coordinate transformation matrix synced with the canvas transformation matrix.

    This command should do the same as if you used \pgflowlevelsynccm followed by \pgfsys@hbox. However, the default implementation of this command will use a “TeX-translation” for the translation part of the transformation matrix. This will ensure that hyperlinks “survive” at least translations. On the other hand, a driver may choose to revert to a simpler implementation. This is done, for example, for the svg implementation, where a -translation makes no sense.

  • \pgfsys@pictureboxsynced{box number}

  • Basically, this should do the same as doing a (scoped) low level sync followed by inserting the box box number directly into the output stream. However, the default implementation uses \pgfsys@hboxsynced in conjunction with \pgfsys@beginpicture to ensure that, if possible, hyperlinks survive in pdfs. Drivers that are sensitive to picture-in-picture scopes should replace this implementation by

120.2 Scoping System Commands

The scoping commands are used to keep changes of the graphics state local.

  • \pgfsys@beginscope

  • Saves the current graphic state on a graphic state stack. All changes to the graphic state parameters mentioned for \pgfsys@stroke and \pgfsys@fill will be local to the current graphic state and the old values will be restored after \pgfsys@endscope is used.

    Warning: pdf and PostScript differ with respect to the question of whether the current path is part of the graphic state or not. For this reason, you should never use this command unless the path is currently empty. For example, it might be a good idea to use \pgfsys@discardpath prior to calling this command.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@endscope

  • Restores the last saved graphic state.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

120.3 Path Construction System Commands
  • \pgfsys@moveto{x}{y}

  • This command is used to start a path at a specific point \((x,y)\) or to move the current point of the current path to \((x,y)\) without drawing anything upon stroking (the current path is “interrupted”).

    Both x and y are given as dimensions. It is the driver’s job to transform these to the coordinate system of the backend. Typically, this means converting the dimension into a dimensionless multiple of \(\frac {1}{72}\mathrm {in}\). The function \pgf@sys@bp helps with this conversion.

    Example: Draw a line from \((10\mathrm {pt},10\mathrm {pt})\) to the origin of the picture.


    \pgfsys@moveto{10pt}{10pt}
    \pgfsys@lineto{0pt}{0pt}
    \pgfsys@stroke

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@lineto{x}{y}

  • Continue the current path to \((x,y)\) with a straight line.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@curveto{\(x_1\)}{\(y_1\)}{\(x_2\)}{\(y_2\)}{\(x_3\)}{\(y_3\)}

  • Continue the current path to \((x_3,y_3)\) with a Bézier curve that has the two control points \((x_1,y_1)\) and \((x_2,y_2)\).

    Example: Draw a good approximation of a quarter circle:


    \pgfsys@moveto{10pt}{0pt}
    \pgfsys@curveto{10pt}{5.55pt}{5.55pt}{10pt}{0pt}{10pt}
    \pgfsys@stroke

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@rect{x}{y}{width}{height}

  • Append a rectangle to the current path whose lower left corner is at \((x,y)\) and whose width and height in big points are given by width and height.

    This command can be “mapped back” to \pgfsys@moveto and \pgfsys@lineto commands, but it is included since pdf has a special, quick version of this command.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@closepath

  • Close the current path. This results in joining the current point of the path with the point specified by the last \pgfsys@moveto operation. Typically, this is preferable over using \pgfsys@lineto to the last point specified by a \pgfsys@moveto, since the line starting at this point and the line ending at this point will be smoothly joined by \pgfsys@closepath.

    Example: Consider

    and


    \pgfsys@moveto{0bp}{0bp}
    \pgfsys@lineto{10bp}{10bp}
    \pgfsys@lineto{0bp}{10bp}
    \pgfsys@lineto{0bp}{0bp}
    \pgfsys@stroke

    The difference between the above will be that in the second triangle the corner at the origin will be wrong; it will just be the overlay of two lines going in different directions, not a sharp pointed corner.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

120.4 Canvas Transformation System Commands
  • \pgfsys@transformcm{a}{b}{c}{d}{e}{f}

  • Perform a concatenation of the canvas transformation matrix with the matrix given by the values a to f, see the pdf or PostScript manual for details. The values a to d are dimensionless factors, e and f are dimensions

    Example: \pgfsys@transformcm{1}{0}{0}{1}{1cm}{1cm}.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@transformshift{x displacement}{y displacement}

  • This command will change the origin of the canvas to \((x,y)\).

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@transformxyscale{x scale}{y scale}

  • This command will scale the canvas (and everything that is drawn) by a factor of x scale in the \(x\)-direction and y scale in the \(y\)-direction. Note that this applies to everything, including lines. So a scaled line will have a different width and may even have a different width when going along the \(x\)-axis and when going along the \(y\)-axis, if the scaling is different in these directions. Usually, you do not want this.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@viewboxmeet{\(x_1\)}{\(y_1\)}{\(x_2\)}{\(y_2\)}{\(x'_1\)}{\(y'_1\)}{\(x'_2\)}{\(y'_2\)}

  • Starts a “view box” scope, which must be ended using \pgfsys@endviewbox later on (with matching scopes).

    The effect of this command is as follows: Consider the rectangles \(R\) with lower left corner \((x_1,y_1)\) and upper right corner \((x_2,y_2)\) and \(R'\) with corners \((x'_1,y'_1)\) and \((x'_2,y'_2)\). The command will install a canvas translation and uniform scaling such that \(R'\) then has the same center as \(R\) and additionally, has maximum size such that it still fits inside \(R\). (Think of this as “viewing” \(R'\) through \(R\) such that the aspect ratio is kept.)

    This command has a default implementation. Its main purpose is to allow animations of the view box; for static drawings it is better to compute the necessary transformations directly.

  • \pgfsys@viewboxslice{\(x_1\)}{\(y_1\)}{\(x_2\)}{\(y_2\)}{\(x'_1\)}{\(y'_1\)}{\(x'_2\)}{\(y'_2\)}

  • Works like the previous command, but now \(R'\) has minimal size such that it encompasses all of \(R\).

  • \pgfsys@endviewbox

  • Ends a viewbox previously started using \pgfsys@viewboxmeet or the ...slice variant.

120.5 Stroking, Filling, and Clipping System Commands
  • \pgfsys@stroke

  • Stroke the current path (as if it were drawn with a pen). A number of graphic state parameters influence this, which can be set using appropriate system commands described later.

    Line width

    The “thickness” of the line. A width of 0 is the thinnest width renderable on the device. On a high-resolution printer this may become invisible and should be avoided. A good choice is 0.4pt, which is the default.

    Stroke color

    This special color is used for stroking. If it is not set, the current color is used.

    Cap

    The cap describes how the endings of lines are drawn. A round cap adds a little half circle to these endings. A butt cap ends the lines exactly at the end (or start) point without anything added. A rectangular cap ends the lines like the butt cap, but the lines protrude over the endpoint by the line thickness. (See also the pdf manual.) If the path has been closed, no cap is drawn.

    Join

    This describes how a bend (a join) in a path is rendered. A round join draws bends using small arcs. A bevel join just draws the two lines and then fills the join minimally so that it becomes convex. A miter join extends the lines so that they form a single sharp corner, but only up to a certain miter limit. (See the pdf manual once more.)

    Dash

    The line may be dashed according to a dashing pattern.

    Clipping area

    If a clipping area is established, only those parts of the path that are inside the clipping area will be drawn.

    In addition to stroking a path, the path may also be used for clipping after it has been stroked. This will happen if the \pgfsys@clipnext is used prior to this command, see there for details.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@closestroke

  • This command should have the same effect as first closing the path and then stroking it.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@fill

  • This command fills the area surrounded by the current path. If the path has not yet been closed, it is closed prior to filling. The path itself is not stroked. For self-intersecting paths or paths consisting of multiple parts, the nonzero winding number rule is used to determine whether a point is inside or outside the path, except if \ifpgfsys@eorule holds – in which case the even-odd rule should be used. (See the pdf or PostScript manual for details.)

    The following graphic state parameters influence the filling:

    Interior rule

    If \ifpgfsys@eorule is set, the even-odd rule is used, otherwise the non-zero winding number rule.

    Fill color

    If the fill color is not especially set, the current color is used.

    Clipping area

    If a clipping area is established, only those parts of the filling area that are inside the clipping area will be drawn.

    In addition to filling the path, the path will also be used for clipping if \pgfsys@clipnext is used prior to this command.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@fillstroke

  • First, the path is filled, then the path is stroked. If the fill and stroke colors are the same (or if they are not specified and the current color is used), this yields almost the same as a \pgfsys@fill. However, due to the line thickness of the stroked path, the fill-stroked area will be slightly larger.

    In addition to stroking and filling the path, the path will also be used for clipping if \pgfsys@clipnext is used prior to this command.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@discardpath

  • Normally, this command should “throw away” the current path. However, after \pgfsys@clipnext has been called, the current path should subsequently be used for clipping. See \pgfsys@clipnext for details.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@clipnext

  • This command should be issued after a path has been constructed, but before it has been stroked and/or filled or discarded. When the command is used, the next stroking/filling/discarding command will first be executed normally. Then, afterwards, the just-used path will be used for subsequent clipping. If there has already been a clipping region, this region is intersected with the new clipping path (the clipping cannot get bigger). The nonzero winding number rule is used to determine whether a point is inside or outside the clipping area or the even-odd rule, depending on whether \ifpgfsys@eorule holds.

120.6 Graphic State Option System Commands
  • \pgfsys@setlinewidth{width}

  • Sets the width of lines, when stroked, to width, which must be a dimension.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@buttcap

  • Sets the cap to a butt cap. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@roundcap

  • Sets the cap to a round cap. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@rectcap

  • Sets the cap to a rectangular cap. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@miterjoin

  • Sets the join to a miter join. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@setmiterlimit{factor}

  • Sets the miter limit of lines to factor. See the pdf or PostScript for details on what the miter limit is.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@roundjoin

  • Sets the join to a round join. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@beveljoin

  • Sets the join to a bevel join. See \pgfsys@stroke.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@setdash{pattern}{phase}

  • Sets the dashing patter. pattern should be a list of dimensions separated by commas. phase should be a single dimension.

    Example: \pgfsys@setdash{3pt,3pt}{0pt}

    The list of values in pattern is used to determine the lengths of the “on” and “off” phases of the dashing. For example, if pattern is 3bp,4bp, then the dashing pattern is “3bp on followed by 4bp off, followed by 3bp on, followed by 4bp off, and so on”. A pattern of .5pt,4pt,3pt,1.5pt means “.5pt on, 4pt off, 3pt on, 1.5pt off, .5pt on, …” If the number of entries is odd, the last one is used twice, so 3pt means “3pt on, 3pt off, 3pt on, 3pt off, …” An empty list means “always on”.

    The second argument determines the “phase” of the pattern. For example, for a pattern of 3bp,4bp and a phase of 1bp, the pattern would start: “2bp on, 4bp off, 3bp on, 4bp off, 3bp on, 4bp off, …”

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \ifpgfsys@eorule

  • Determines whether the even odd rule is used for filling and clipping or not.

120.7 Color System Commands

The pgf system layer provides a number of system commands for setting colors. These command coexist with commands from the color and xcolor package, which perform similar functions. However, the color package does not support having two different colors for stroking and filling, which is a useful feature that is supported by pgf. For this reason, the pgf system layer offers commands for setting these colors separately. Also, plain profits from the fact that pgf can set colors.

For pdf, implementing these color commands is easy since pdf supports different stroking and filling colors directly. For PostScript, a more complicated approach is needed in which the colors need to be stored in special PostScript variables that are set whenever a stroking or a filling operation is done.

  • \pgfsys@color@rgb{red}{green}{blue}

  • Sets the color used for stroking and filling operations to the given red/green/blue tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@rgb@stroke{red}{green}{blue}

  • Sets the color used for stroking operations to the given red/green/blue tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    Example: Make stroked text dark red: \pgfsys@color@rgb@stroke{0.5}{0}{0}

    The special stroking color is only used if the stroking color has been set since the last \color or \pgfsys@color@... command. Thus, each \color command will reset both the stroking and filling colors by calling \pgfsys@color@reset.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@rgb@fill{red}{green}{blue}

  • Sets the color used for filling operations to the given red/green/blue tuple (numbers between 0 and 1). This color may be different from the stroking color.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmyk{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}{black}

  • Sets the color used for stroking and filling operations to the given cmyk tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmyk@stroke{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}{black}

  • Sets the color used for stroking operations to the given cmyk tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmyk@fill{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}{black}

  • Sets the color used for filling operations to the given cmyk tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmy{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}

  • Sets the color used for stroking and filling operations to the given cmy tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmy@stroke{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}

  • Sets the color used for stroking operations to the given cmy tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@cmy@fill{cyan}{magenta}{yellow}

  • Sets the color used for filling operations to the given cmy tuple (numbers between 0 and 1).

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@gray{black}

  • Sets the color used for stroking and filling operations to the given black value, where 0 means black and 1 means white.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@gray@stroke{black}

  • Sets the color used for stroking operations to the given black value, where 0 means black and 1 means white.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@gray@fill{black}

  • Sets the color used for filling operations to the given black value, where 0 means black and 1 means white.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@color@reset

  • This command will be called when the \color command is used. It should purge any internal settings of stroking and filling color. After this call, till the next use of a command like \pgfsys@color@rgb@fill, the current color installed by the \color command should be used.

    If the -if \pgfsys@color@reset@inorder is set to true, this command may “assume” that any call to a color command that sets the fill or stroke color came “before” the call to this command and may try to optimize the output accordingly.

    An example of an incorrect “out of order” call would be using \pgfsys@color@reset at the beginning of a box that is constructed using \setbox. Then, when the box is constructed, no special fill or stroke color might be in force. However, when the box is later on inserted at some point, a special fill color might already have been set. In this case, this command is not guaranteed to reset the color correctly.

  • \pgfsys@color@reset@inordertrue

  • Sets the optimized “in order” version of the color resetting. This is the default.

  • \pgfsys@color@reset@inorderfalse

  • Switches off the optimized color resetting.

  • \pgfsys@color@unstacked{ color}

  • This slightly obscure command causes the color stack to be tricked. When called, this command should set the current color to color without causing any change in the color stack.

    Example: \pgfsys@color@unstacked{red}

120.8 Pattern System Commands
  • \pgfsys@declarepattern{name}{\(x_1\)}{\(y_1\)}{\(x_2\)}{\(y_2\)}{\(x\) step}{\(y\) step}{\(a\)}{\(b\)}{\(c\)}{\(d\)}{\(e\)}{\(f\)}{code}{flag}

  • This command declares a new colored or uncolored pattern, depending on whether flag is 0, which means uncolored, or 1, which means colored. Uncolored patterns have no inherent color, the color is provided when they are set. Colored patters have an inherent color.

    The name is a name for later use when the pattern is to be shown. The pairs \((x_1,y_1)\) and \((x_2,y_2)\) must describe a bounding box of the pattern code.

    The tiling step of the pattern is given by \(x\) step and \(y\) step.

    The parameters \(a\) to \(f\) are entries of the transformation matrix that is applied to the pattern, see \pgfsys@patternmatrix for more information.

    Example:


    \pgfsys@declarepattern
    {hori}{-.5pt}{0pt}{.5pt}{3pt}{3pt}{3pt}%
    {1.0}{0.0}{0.0}{1.0}{0.0pt}{0.0pt}%
    {\pgfsys@moveto{0pt}{0pt}\pgfsys@lineto{0pt}{3pt}\pgfsys@stroke}
    {0}

  • \pgfsys@patternmatrix

  • For convenience pgf defines the transformation matrix that is applied to all patterns defined with \pgfdeclarepatternformonly and \pgfdeclarepatterninherentlycolored in a macro. This can be used as an extension point for ad-hoc transformation of existing patterns. The default definition is the identity matrix:


    \def\pgfsys@patternmatrix{{1.0}{0.0}{0.0}{1.0}{0.0pt}{0.0pt}}

    The entries of the enclosed array {\(a\)}{\(b\)}{\(c\)}{\(d\)}{\(e\)}{\(f\)} are entries in the transformation matrix, identified as in the following transformation prescription:

    \begin{equation*} \begin{pmatrix} x' \\ y' \\ 1 \\ \end {pmatrix} = \begin{pmatrix} a & c & e \\ b & d & f \\ 0 & 0 & 1 \\ \end {pmatrix} \begin{pmatrix} x \\ y \\ 1 \\ \end {pmatrix} . \end{equation*}

    Carrying out the matrix multiplication results in the following system of equations

    \begin{align*} x' &= a x + c y + e , \\ y' &= b x + d y + f . \end{align*} Evidently, the parameters {\(a\)} to {\(d\)} have to be dimensionless because they are scaling factors, but the parameters {\(e\)} and {\(f\)} are offsets, therefore they have to carry a unit.

  • \pgfsys@setpatternuncolored{name}{red}{green}{blue}

  • Sets the fill color to the pattern named name. This pattern must previously have been declared with flag set to 0. The color of the pattern is given in the parameters red, green, and blue in the usual way.

    The fill color “pattern” will persist till the next color command that modifies the fill color.

  • \pgfsys@setpatterncolored{name}

  • Sets the fill color to the pattern named name. This pattern must have been declared with the 1 flag.

120.9 Image System Commands

The system layer provides some commands for image inclusion.

  • \pgfsys@imagesuffixlist

  • This macro should expand to a list of suffixes, separated by ‘:’, that will be tried when searching for an image.

    Example: \def\pgfsys@imagesuffixlist{eps:epsi:ps}

  • \pgfsys@defineimage

  • Called, when an image should be defined.

    This command does not take any parameters. Instead, certain macros will be preinstalled with appropriate values when this command is invoked. These are:

    • \pgf@filename File name of the image to be defined.

    • \pgf@imagewidth Will be set to the desired (scaled) width of the image.

    • \pgf@imageheight Will be set to the desired (scaled) height of the image.

      If this macro and also the height macro are empty, the image should have its “natural” size.

      If only one of them is specified, the undefined value the image is scaled so that the aspect ratio is kept.

      If both are set, the image is scaled in both directions independently, possibly changing the aspect ratio.

    The following macros presumable mostly make sense for drivers that can handle pdf:

    • \pgf@imagepage The desired page number to be extracted from a multi-page “image”.

    • \pgf@imagemask If set, it will be set to /SMask x 0 R where x is the pdf object number of a soft mask to be applied to the image.

    • \pgf@imageinterpolate If set, it will be set to /Interpolate true or /Interpolate false, indicating whether the image should be interpolated in pdf.

    The command should now set up the macro \pgf@image such that calling this macro will result in typesetting the image. Thus, \pgf@image is the “return value” of the command.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

120.10 Shading System Commands
  • \pgfsys@horishading{name}{height}{specification}

  • Declares a horizontal shading for later use. The effect of this command should be the definition of a macro called \@pgfshadingname! (or \csname @pdfshadingname!\endcsname, to be precise). When invoked, this new macro should insert a shading at the current position.

    name is the name of the shading, which is also used in the output macro name. height is the height of the shading and must be given as a TeX dimension like 2cm or 10pt. specification is a shading color specification as specified in Section 114. The shading specification implicitly fixes the width of the shading.

    When \@pgfshadingname! is invoked, it should insert a box of height height and the width implicit in the shading declaration.

  • \pgfsys@vertshading{name}{width}{specification}

  • Like the horizontal version, only for vertical shadings. This time, the height of the shading is implicit in specification and the width is given as width.

  • \pgfsys@radialshading{name}{starting point}{specification}

  • Declares a radial shading. Like the previous macros, this command should set up the macro \@pgfshadingname!, which upon invocation should insert a radial shading whose size is implicit in specification.

    The parameter starting point is a pgf point specifying the inner starting point of the shading.

  • \pgfsys@functionalshading{name}{lower left corner}upper right corner{type 4 function}

  • Declares a shading using a PostScript-like function that provides a color for each point. Like the previous macros, this command should set up the macro \@pgfshadingname! so that it will produce a box containing the desired shading.

    Parameter name is the name of the shading. Parameter type 4 function is a Postscript-like function (type 4 function of the PDF specification) as described in Section 3.9.4 of the PDF specification version 1.7. Parameters lower left corner and upper right corner are pgf points that specifies the lower left and upper right corners of the shading, respectively.

    When type 4 function is evaluated, the coordinate of the current point will be on the (virtual) PostScript stack in bp units. After the function has been evaluated, the stack should consist of three numbers (not integers! – the Apple PDF renderer is broken in this regard, so add cvrs at the end if needed) that represent the red, green, and blue components of the color.

    A buggy function will result is totally unpredictable chaos during rendering.

120.11 Transparency System Commands
  • \pgfsys@opacity{value}

  • Sets the opacity of all operations, treating stroking and filling as a transparency group. Some drivers support this operations, others do not and set the fill and stroke individually. This difference can only be seen when a path is stroked and filled at the same time: When the drawing and fill opacities are set individually, the effect of filling and drawing a path at the same time is the same as first filling the path and then drawing it. On the other, if the opacity is set using this command, the effect should rather be that same as first filling and then drawing the path without any opacity in an off-screen area and then copying the result to the target area with a homogeneous opacity of value.

    Since pdf does not support this form of opacity, this command is only present on the system layer and not supported in the basic layer.

  • \pgfsys@stroke@opacity{value}

  • Sets the opacity of stroking operations.

  • \pgfsys@fill@opacity{value}

  • Sets the opacity of filling operations.

  • \pgfsys@blend@mode{value}

  • Sets the blend mode, see Section 7.2.4 of the pdf Specification, Version 1.7.

  • \pgfsys@transparencygroupfrombox{box}

  • This takes a box and converts it into a transparency group. This means that any transparency settings apply to the box as a whole. For instance, if a box contains two overlapping black circles and you draw the box and, thus, the two circles normally with 50% transparency, then the overlap will be darker than the rest. By comparison, if the circles are part of a transparency group, the overlap will get the same color as the rest.

A transparency group can be isolated and/or a knockout group (see Sections 7.3.4 and 7.3.5 of the pdf Specification Version 1.7). Which of these is the case is dictated by the current settings of the following two ifs, which must be set before the above command is called:

  • \ifpgfsys@transparency@group@isolated

  • Determines whether a transparency group should be isolated.

  • \ifpgfsys@transparency@group@knockout

  • Determines whether a transparency group is a knockout group or not.

  • \pgfsys@fadingfrombox{name}{box}

  • Declares the fading name. The box is a -box. Its content’s luminosity determines the opacity of the resulting fading. This means that the lighter a pixel inside the box, the more opaque the fading will be at this position.

  • \pgfsys@usefadingname{a}{b}{c}{d}{e}{f}

  • Installs a previously declared fading name in the current graphics state. Afterwards, all drawings will be masked by the fading. The fading should be centered on the origin and have its original size, except that the parameters a to f specify a transformation matrix that should be applied additionally to the fading before it is installed. The transformation should not apply to the following graphics, however.

  • \pgfsys@clipfading

  • This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by driver files other than pgfsys-dvips.def. The macro is called in \pgfsetfadingforcurrentpath and \pgfsetfadingforcurrentpathstroked of the basic layer, where it invokes the current path for clipping the shading just before installing it as an opacity mask for fading. The default implementation is actually a non-operation, but with dvips it is used to clip the fading as described.

  • \pgfsys@definemask

  • This command declares a fading (known as a soft mask in this context) based on an image and for usage with images. It works similar to \pgfsys@defineimage: Certain macros are set when the command is called. The result should be to set the macro \pgf@mask to a pdf object count that can subsequently be used as a transparency mask. The following macros will be set when this command is invoked:

    • \pgf@filename File name of the mask to be defined.

    • \pgf@maskmatte The so-called matte of the mask (see the pdf documentation for details). The matte is a color specification consisting of 1, 3 or 4 numbers between 0 and 1. The number of numbers depends on the number of color channels in the image (not in the mask!). It will be assumed that the image has been preblended with this color.

120.12 Animation Commands

The animation system layer command (\pgfsys@anim...) are described in a separate section, Section 123.

120.13 Object Identification System Commands

The system layer provides commands for adding identification labels (ids) to different objects in a graphic. These can be used for hyperlinking, which is needed for instance in conjunction with animations.

The following “objects” can get an id assigned to them:

  • 1. Graphic scopes (namely when \pgfsys@begin@idscope is called),

  • 2. view boxes (namely when \pgfsys@viewboxmeet or \pgfsys@viewboxslice are called),

  • 3. paths (namely when \pgfsys@fill, \pgfsys@stroke, and so on are called),

  • 4. text boxes (namely when \pgfsys@hbox or \pgfsys@hboxsynced is called), and

  • 5. animations (namely when \pgfsys@animate is called).

Creating and using ids is a two-step process. First, you create the id using \pgfsys@new@id, which stores a fresh id in a macro. You can now pass this id around and clone it. Then, at some point, you wish one of the above objects to actually get this id. For this, you use \pgfsys@use@id just before the object since this command always influences the next object.

The basic id management gets more powerful when you use id types. The idea is as follows: In reality, the objects from above do not get assigned only an id, but rather a combination of an id and a type – and you can set the type independently of the id. This is used, for instance, to allow easy access to the different parts of a node in animations: Each node has a single id, but consists of several graphic objects (normally, at least a background path and a text). Each of these uses the same underlying id of the node, but the path has the type path (actually background.path) while the text has the type text. The advantage is that for each node only one id must be stored instead of a great number of the many different possible parts of a node.

  • \pgfsys@new@id{macro}

  • Creates a new id for later use and stores it in macro. It is an internal text created by the driver and may not be changed or modified.

  • \pgfsys@use@id{id}

  • “Uses” an id previously created using \pgfsys@new@id. This causes the next graphic object to get the id (not the current one). Once used, the id-type-pair becomes invalid and will not be attached to any other graphics objects. It is, however, not an error to try this. If id is empty, no id-type-pair is attached to the next object.

  • \pgfsys@use@type{type}

  • Changes the type used with the next graphic object. As mentioned earlier, the id assigned to the next object is actually a pair consisting of the currently used id and the currently used type.

  • \pgfsys@append@type{text}

  • Appends the text to the current type.

  • \pgfsys@push@type

  • Pushes the current type on a global “stack of types” without opening a scope. The is useful when you temporarily wish to change the type (for instance, by appending something to it), but you cannot create a new scope.

  • \pgfsys@pop@type

  • Restores the most recently pushed type.

  • \pgfsys@begin@idscope

  • Starts a (graphics) scope whose sole purpose is to assign it an id-type-pair so that it can be referenced later. Note that this command does not always produce a graphics scope: If no id is currently in use or if the id-type-pair has already been used, a graphic scope may or may not be created as defined by the driver (but always a scope). This allows drivers to minimize the number of graphic scopes created.

    When an id scope is created, any code that has been “attached” to it using \pgfsys@attach@to@id gets executed, see that command.

    Note that \pgfsys@beginscope does not use the current id-type-pair. You need to call this command to attach an id to a group.

  • \pgfsys@end@idscope

  • Ends the graphics id scope started by \pgfsys@end@idscope. It must nest correctly with other graphic scopes and scopes.

  • \pgfsys@attach@to@id{id}{type}{begin code}{end code}{setup code}

  • Attaches codes to the id-type-pair, where id must have been created using \pgfsys@new@id. The effect is that just before the id scope for this pair is created, the setup code is executed, then the scope is started, then the begin code is executed at the beginning, and, finally, end code gets executed just before the scope ends. Multiple calls of this macro accumulated.

120.14 Resource Description Framework Annotations (RDFa)

With certain output formats (in particular, with svg) you can insert annotations into the output file following the standard set by the resource description framework (rdf), please consult the literature on rdf for an introduction to resource descriptions and ontologies.

The support for rdf annotations works as follows in pgf: You use the following commands before you create an id scope (using \pgfsys@begin@idscope). Then the attributes set by the commands will be added as an annotation to that object. Here is an example:

If svg output is produced, this results in the following code in the svg file:


resource="/fruits/apple">
...

Note that a call to \pgfsys@begin@idscope adds all the set attributes, but then clears the settings (globally). Thus, you should set all attributes more or less right before the id scope is created. For most of these command, if you call them multiple times before starting the id scope, the “last call wins”, that is, later values overwrite earlier ones. In contrast, for the commands \pgfsys@rdf@property, \pgfsys@rdf@rel, \pgfsys@rdf@rev, as well as \pgfsys@rdf@typeof, the calls accumulate, that is, the texts passed in each call will all be added to the output, properly separated to form a list of values. Consider for instance:


\pgfsys@rdf@resource{/fruits/apple}
\pgfsys@rdf@resource{/fruits/watermelon}
\pgfsys@rdf@property{http://foo.com/props/juicy}
\pgfsys@rdf@property{http://foo.com/props/green}
\pgfsys@begin@idscope
...
\pgfsys@end@idscope

In the resulting id scope, we will have:


resource="/fruits/watermelon"
property="http://foo.com/props/juicy http://foo.com/props/green">
...

  • \pgfsys@rdf@about{text}

  • Adds the rdf attribute about="text" to the next id scope (please see the rdfa specification for details on the semantics of about in the context of the resource description framework).

The following commands work the same way as the above command, except that the set attribute is different. Please see the rdfa specification for details on these attributes. Note that the \pgfsys@rdf@inlist command is the only one that takes no argument.

  • \pgfsys@rdf@content{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@datatype{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@href{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@inlist

  • \pgfsys@rdf@prefix{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@property{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@rel{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@resource{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@rev{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@src{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@typeof{text}

  • \pgfsys@rdf@vocab{text}

120.15 Reusable Objects System Commands
  • \pgfsys@invoke{literals}

  • This command gets protocolled literals and should insert them into the .pdf or .dvi file using an appropriate \special.

  • \pgfsys@defobject{name}{lower left}{upper right}{code}

  • Declares an object for later use. The idea is that the object can be precached in some way and then be rendered more quickly when used several times. For example, an arrow head might be defined and prerendered in this way.

    The parameter name is the name for later use. lower left and upper right are pgf points specifying a bounding box for the object. code is the code for the object. The code should not be too fancy.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

  • \pgfsys@useobject{name}{extra code}

  • Renders a previously declared object. The first parameter is the name of the object. The second parameter is extra code that should be executed right before the object is rendered. Typically, this will be some transformation code.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

  • \pgfsys@marker@declare{macro}{code}

  • Declares a marker symbol for later use. The command is very similar to \pgfsys@defobject, but the use case is slightly different: The graphic object defined using the code is stored in such a way that it can be used as an arrow tip marker symbol in animations. The macro is set to an identifier by which the marker can be referenced later on.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

  • \pgfsys@marker@use{macro}

  • Adds the marker object referenced by the macro to the current output.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

120.16 Invisibility System Commands

All drawing or stroking or text rendering between calls of the following commands should be suppressed. A similar effect can be achieved by clipping against an empty region, but the following commands do not open a graphics scope and can be opened and closed “orthogonally” to other scopes.

  • \pgfsys@begininvisible

  • Between this command and the closing \pgfsys@endinvisible all output should be suppressed. Nothing should be drawn at all, which includes all paths, images and shadings. However, no groups (neither groups nor graphic state groups) should be opened by this command.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

  • \pgfsys@endinvisible

  • Ends the invisibility section, unless invisibility blocks have been nested. In this case, only the “last” one restores visibility.

    This command has a default implementation and need not be implemented by a driver file.

    This command is protocolled, see Section 122.

120.17 Page Size Commands

The following commands can be used to set the page size of a document in a “portable” way. Note, however, that many packages also (try to) set the page size.

These commands are typically not given inside a {pgfpicture}, but on the outer level of compilation.

  • \pgfsys@papersize{width}{height}

  • Inserts the necessary \specials for the current driver into the output stream to “locally” change the page size. Whether such a “local” change is possible depends strongly on the driver. For instance, dvips will honor the first call to this command that is part of the shipped-out document and will ignore all other uses. In contrast, pdftex will use the current value of the paper size for each page and, additionally, setting the papersize is local to the current group.

  • \pgfsys@global@papersize{width}{height}

  • Like the previous command, only for drivers where setting the paper size parameters is a -group-local operation, \global is prefixed to the setting of the page sizes.

  • \pgfsys@thepageheight

  • This macro expands to the current page’s height, provided is used, otherwise a best guess is returned (currently just \the\vsize).

  • \pgfsys@thepagewidth

  • As above.

120.18 Position Tracking Commands

The following commands are used to determine the position of text on a page. This is a rather complicated process in general since at the moment when the text is read by , the final position cannot be determined, yet. For example, the text might be put in a box which is later put in the headline or perhaps in the footline or perhaps even on a different page.

For these reasons, position tracking is typically a two-stage process. In a first stage you indicate that a certain position is of interest by marking it. This will (depending on the details of the backend driver) cause page coordinates or this position to be written to an .aux file when the page is shipped. Possibly, the position might also be determined at an even later stage. Then, on a second run of , the position is read from the .aux file and can be used.

  • \pgfsys@markposition{name}

  • Marks a position on the page. This command should be given while normal typesetting is done such as in


    The value of $x$ is \pgfsys@markposition{here}important.

    It causes the position here to be saved when the page is shipped out.

  • \pgfsys@getposition{name}{macro}

  • This command retrieves a position that has been marked on an earlier run of on the current file. The macro must be a macro name such as \mymacro. It will be redefined such that it is

    • • either just \relax or

    • • a \pgfpoint... command.

    The first case will happen when the position has not been marked at all or when the file is typeset for the first time, when the coordinates are not yet available.

    In the second case, executing macro yields the position on the page that is to be interpreted as follows: A coordinate like \pgfpoint{2cm}{3cm} means “2cm to the right and 3cm up from the origin of the page”. The position of the origin of the page is not guaranteed to be at the lower left corner, it is only guaranteed that all pictures on a page use the same origin.

    To determine the lower left corner of a page, you can call \pgfsys@getposition with name set to the special name pgfpageorigin. By shifting all positions by the amount returned by this call you can position things absolutely on a page.

    Example: Referencing a point of the page:


    The value of $x$ is \pgfsys@markposition{here}important.

    Lots of text.

    \hbox{\pgfsys@markposition{myorigin}%
    \begin{pgfpicture}
    % Switch of size protocol
    \pgfpathmoveto{\pgfpointorigin}
    \pgfusepath{use as bounding box}

    \pgfsys@getposition{here}{\hereposition}
    \pgfsys@getposition{myorigin}{\thispictureposition}

    \pgftransformshift{\pgfpointscale{-1}{\thispictureposition}}
    \pgftransformshift{\hereposition}

    \pgfpathcircle{\pgfpointorigin}{1cm}
    \pgfusepath{draw}
    \end{pgfpicture}}
120.19 Internal Conversion Commands

The system commands take dimensions as input, but the dimensions that have to be inserted into pdf and PostScript files need to be dimensionless values that are interpreted as multiples of \(\frac {1}{72}\mathrm {in}\). For example, the dimension \(2bp\) should be inserted as 2 into a pdf file and the dimension \(10\mathrm {pt}\) as 9.9626401. To make this conversion easier, the following command may be useful:

  • \pgf@sys@bp{dimension}

  • Inserts how many multiples of \(\frac {1}{72}\mathrm {in}\) the dimension is into the current protocol stream (buffered).

    Example: \pgf@sys@bp{\pgf@x} or \pgf@sys@bp{1cm}.

Note that this command is not a system command that can/needs to be overwritten by a driver.