# Draw polytopes in LaTeX using TikZ#

Author: Jean-Philippe Labbé <labbe@math.fu-berlin.de>

It is sometimes very helpful to draw 3-dimensional polytopes in a paper. TikZ is a very versatile tool to draw in scientific documents and Sage can deal easily with 3-dimensional polytopes. Finally sagetex makes everything work together nicely between Sage, TikZ and LaTeX. Since version 6.3 of Sage, there is a function for (projection of) polytopes to output a TikZ picture of the polytope. Since version 9.8 of SageMath, the tikz output can be a TikzPicture object from the sage module sage.misc.latex_standalone. This short tutorial shows how it all works.

## Instructions#

To put an image of a 3D-polytope in LaTeX using TikZ and Sage, simply follow the instructions:

• Install SageTex (optional but recommended!)

• Put \usepackage{tikz} in the preamble of your article

• Open Sage and change the directory to your article’s by the command cd /path/to/article

• Input your polytope, called P for example, to Sage

• Visualize the polytope P using the command P.show(aspect_ratio=1)

• This will open an interactive view in your default browser, where you can rotate the polytope.

• Once the desired view angle is found, click on the information icon in the lower right-hand corner and select Get Viewpoint. This will copy a string of the form ‘[x,y,z],angle’ to your local clipboard.

• Go back to Sage and type Img = P.tikz([x,y,z],angle,output_type='LatexExpr'). You can paste the string here to save some typing.

• Img now contains a Sage object of type LatexExpr containing the raw TikZ picture of your polytope.

Alternatively, you can save the tikz image to a file, by doing

Img = P.tikz([x,y,z], angle, output_type='TikzPicture')
Img.tex('Img_poly.tex')
Img.tex('Img_poly.tex', content_only=True)
Img.pdf('Img_poly.pdf')


Then in the pwd (present working directory of sage, the one of your article) you will have two files named Img_poly.tex and Img_poly.pdf containing the tikzpicture of the polytope P.

## Customization#

You can customize the polytope using the following options in the command P.tikz()

• scale : positive number to scale the polytope,

• edge_color : string (default: blue!95!black) representing colors which tikz recognize,

• facet_color : string (default: blue!95!black) representing colors which tikz recognize,

• vertex_color : string (default: green) representing colors which tikz recognize,

• opacity : real number (default: 0.8) between 0 and 1 giving the opacity of the front facets,

• axis : Boolean (default: False) draw the axes at the origin or not.

• output_type : string (default: None) None, 'LatexExpr' or 'TikzPicture', the type of the output. Since SageMath 9.8, the value None is deprecated as the default value will soon be changed from 'LatexExpr' to 'TikzPicture'.

## Examples#

Let’s say you want to draw the polar dual of the following (nice!) polytope given by the following list of vertices:

[[1,0,1],[1,0,0],[1,1,0],[0,0,-1],[0,1,0],[-1,0,0],[0,1,1],[0,0,1],[0,-1,0]]

In Sage, you type:

P = Polyhedron(vertices=[[1,0,1],[1,0,0],[1,1,0],[0,0,-1],[0,1,0],[-1,0,0],[0,1,1],[0,0,1],[0,-1,0]]).polar()


Then, you visualize the polytope by typing P.show(aspect_ratio=1)

When you found a good angle, follow the above procedure to obtain the values [674,108,-731] and angle=112, for example.

Img = P.tikz([674,108,-731], 112, output_type='TikzPicture')


Note: the output_type='TikzPicture' is necessary since SagMath 9.8 to avoid a deprecation warning message since the default output type will soon change from a LatexExpr (Python str) to a TikzPicture object (allowing more versatility, like being able to view it directly in the Jupyter notebook).

Or you may want to customize using the command

Img = P.tikz([674,108,-731],112,scale=2, edge_color='orange',facet_color='red',vertex_color='blue',opacity=0.4, output_type='TikzPicture')


Further, you may want to edit deeper the style of the polytope, directly inside the tikzpicture. For example, line 6-9 in the tikzpicture reads:

back/.style={loosely dotted, thin},
edge/.style={color=orange, thick},
facet/.style={fill=red,fill opacity=0.400000},
vertex/.style={inner sep=1pt,circle,draw=blue!25!black,fill=blue!75!black,thick,anchor=base}]


It is also possible to replace it by the following 4 lines (and adding \usetikzlibrary{shapes} in the preamble)

back/.style={loosely dashed,line width=2pt},
edge/.style={color=yellow, line width=2pt},
facet/.style={fill=cyan,fill opacity=0.400000},
vertex/.style={inner sep=4pt,star,star points=7,draw=blue!75!white,fill=blue!85!white,thick,anchor=base}]


Finally, you may want to tweak your picture my adding labels, elements on vertices, edges, facets, etc.

## Automatize using SageTex#

For this you need to put

\usepackage{sagetex}

in the preamble of your article

There are different ways to use sagetex and you may create your own. Here are some possibilities.

1. You can directly type in a sagestr in the article:

\sagestr{(polytopes.permutahedron(4)).tikz([4,5,6],45,scale=0.75, facet_color='red',vertex_color='yellow',opacity=0.3, output_type='LatexExpr')}

1. You may create the following tex commands

\newcommand{\polytopeimg}[4]{\sagestr{(#1).tikz(#2,#3,#4,output_type='LatexExpr')}}
\newcommand{\polytopeimgopt}[9]{\sagestr{(#1).tikz(#2,#3,#4,#5,#6,#7,#8,#9,output_type='LatexExpr')}}


in your preamble and use them with a sagesilent in your article:

\begin{sagesilent}
Polytope = polytopes.great_rhombicuboctahedron()
\end{sagesilent}

\polytopeimg{Polytope}{[276,-607,-746]}{102}{1}
\polytopeimgopt{Polytope}{view=[-907,379,183]}{angle=129}{scale=2}{edge_color='red'}{facet_color='yellow'}{vertex_color='blue'}{opacity=0.6}{axis=False}


Then, run pdflatex, execute Sage on the file article_name.sagetex.sage and run pdflatex again.