TikZ is a powerful LaTeX syntax for drawing diagrams. Would it be possible to support it, so it becomes easy to include pictures in posts? We have MathJax for math formulas. Could we have support for TikZ pictures as well?

This would apply to all sites where pictures are worth a 1000 words. Certainly math, physics, and statistics. And the TeX site would benefit if the pictures can be rendered optionally on a per case basis.

As a reference, we can see here how it might work. It's an interactive page that shows some templates.

And here is a vBulletin forum where members can include TikZ pictures in their posts that get rendered server side. Unfortunately you need to be a member to see the images.

  • 1
    What would be the use, though? You can't replace formulae with text or images, but I think we can replace whatever is rendered by TikZ by simply uploading the diagram to Stack Imgur. Jul 23, 2017 at 16:14
  • If it's something that has to be rendered server-side, it's very unlikely it'd ever happen.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 23, 2017 at 16:49
  • Erm... what about innovation? As my references show, it can be done - it's just a matter of bringing it up with the right people... Jul 23, 2017 at 17:27
  • 3
    @IlikeSerena Nobody doubts that it can be done; websites have been doing things like this for a long time. But just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be done, and I don't see anything in this post that gives a reason why we should have built-in TikZ rendering on SE sites - that is, why the added benefit would be worth the cost of developer time and server computation it would take. As Gallifreyan said, we do already have a fully functional way to include TikZ-generated images in posts; the only difference with your suggestion is slightly more convenience.
    – David Z
    Jul 24, 2017 at 4:40

1 Answer 1


You're right, MathJax is enabled on a few SE sites. Some other sites have other special features, like electronic circuit diagrammers or chess match replayers, provided on an as-needed basis. Our standard procedure when we get any request for a special site plugin like this is to ask for two things:

  • community support on meta
  • evidence that it would make a significant improvement to post and/or community quality

In other words, you'd find examples of several posts on the site you're thinking of that would benefit substantially from the use of TikZ, and link to them and provide explanations in a meta post to try to get upvotes. If other people agreed, maybe they would start contributing examples of their own. Enough upvotes and we would evaluate.

For examples, see what our hams did to get CircuitLab enabled (or, for that matter, their request for MathJax).

Typically, requests like this get asked on individual sites' metas, not here on the network-wide meta. You could try to follow the same rules to convince us that the entire network needs TikZ, but I find it very unlikely that you'd succeed.

FYI, I'm one of the Community Managers at Stack Exchange; for the purposes of this answer, I qualify as one of the "right people" to bring the issue up with that you mentioned in your comment earlier.

  • 1
    The request exists on meta.math too.
    – quid
    Jul 24, 2017 at 17:28
  • And on a couple other sites. I've answered the one on Math now though.
    – Pops
    Jul 24, 2017 at 17:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .