This question is based on this answer.

The corresponding question basically says: I want to draw this picture in tikz.

The answer basically says: Do not use tikz, but another program and then import it.

Consequently, I flagged this answer as low quality since I thought it does not really answer OP´s question and does not meet his requirements using tikz. He also does not answer why tikz would be more trouble than it's worth in this case. Just recommends another program.

On the other hand, it technically solves the problem (like any other “draw it with this program and import it” answer would do). It may be just a poor answer, because it ignores OP´s requirements and the technical feasibility in tikz.

It is like recommending Excel (or any other open software) when someone wants to make a table in LaTeX.

Since this flag is pending for a while I thought that maybe some reviews have the same considerations.

So are question which propose another program and do not meet OP´s requirements considered “poor answers”, “an answer that does not attempt to solve the question” or is it a “legitimate answer”?

EDIT: A small edit to the question to make my question more clear.

This is a Q/A site about LaTeX and TeX. So I assume questions posted here should primary solved using LaTeX (including its many packages, tools like matcha and macros like PSTricks). Recommending another program if the reason is comprehensible is a valid answer. I have no problem with that. Like recommending R for statistics.

The problem here are answers that address the problem and provide an actual solution by recommending another program (want to draw that -> use a drawing program) even if it is completely and easily solvable in LaTeX.


Example Question:

I want to draw a red rectangle in LaTeX. How can I do that?

Answer one 1:

Use tikz package:

        \draw[red] (0,0) rectangle (1,1);

Answer 2:

Use paint (or any other drawing software), save it as a png and import it.


Both answers address the problem and both solve it.

Are such answers ignoring what LaTeX can do valid in a LaTeX Q/A site? Should they be flagged?

  • 5
    It's a long-standing convention on the site that alternative approaches are allowed, e.g. using PSTricks for a TikZ question of ConTeXt for a LaTeX question. So that alone doesn't make it 'low quality'.
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 7:05
  • 2
    @ Joseph Wright. But PSTricks is a set of macros using LaTeX commands. So I think it is a little different from recommending a completely different program. I have no problem when OP for example wants a graph in TikZ and the answer uses pgfplots if it improves the result.
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 7:14
  • 1

3 Answers 3


In my opinion, that answer should be a comment. I flagged it.

It's also arguable that Inkscape is easier than TikZ. It depends on which one you know better.

Eventually, reproducing a logo is against the trademark laws. I think also the question should be deleted. I also flagged it.

  • It would be against trademark law to use the logo to falsely imply endorsement. But it would probably be pretty easy to argue that using a logo is fair use, and therefore not a copyright violation. IMO.
    – Teepeemm
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 0:20
  • @Teepeemm Is using a "false" logo not against copyright laws? "False" in the sense of "built by myself with TikZ, without the institution's permission"?
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 5:20
  • I don't think so. IANAL, but I don't think a logo is extensive enough to really merit a copyright in the first place.
    – Teepeemm
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 11:30
  • @Teepeemm IANAL, too, but logos are similar to trade marks, I think.
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 12:02
  • 3
    Logos are more likely to be protected as trade marks, not by copyright. "Passing off" a product by using a logo similar (but not identical) to a registered trade mark is illegal, and trade mark violation is much easier, quicker, and cheaper to enforce legally than copyright violation.
    – alephzero
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 18:22
  • 2
    In the linked question, of the institution is serious about its logo it will provide graphic files to legitimate users, and that is certainly how the OP should solve the problem - not by attempting to re-create the graphic in LaTeX, Inkscape, or any other application.
    – alephzero
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 18:31
  • @alephzero I edited my post and changed "copyright" into "trademark" laws.
    – CarLaTeX
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 20:39

As long as the answer addresses the 'core issue' of the question (here: add a specific logo to a document) then it is a real/legitimate answer.

If the answer does not follow the requirements in the question then it may be a bad answer, but still a real answer. It may very well be that an approach outlined in such an answer is actually better than the approach that the OP had in mind. However, if you don't think the OP or anybody else will be helped by the answer then you can consider downvoting it, in line with the standard Stack Exchange model (or leaving it at 0, more in line with the custom on TeX.SE). Flagging or reviewing as 'not an answer' should be reserved for actual non-answers that do not address the question under any reasonable interpretation.

Here on TeX.SE we have a high standard for answers, with a full MWE, often a screenshot, and some explanation. Therefore answers with alternative approaches that are not fully developed/demonstrated, or that use an approach not based on code, are maybe quick to be judged as 'should be a comment'. However I don't think this judgement is always reasonable. If an answer contains an idea that adds something new to addressing the question, or that improves substantially on a solution already given by others, then it should be able to stay as a separate answer.

  • 1
    @ Marijn. Actually the core issue of the question is how to draw the logo and since this is a Q/A site about LaTeX I think it is legitimate to ask especially for TikZ. Yes, a logo can be drawn in any other drawing software and then imported, but I do not think that this is what OP asked for. In this case everytime someone wants to make a table in LaTeX a recommendation of Excel would be also reasonable.
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 6, 2021 at 23:27
  • @Roland the question is a bit vague about this in my opinion, it could be about learning TikZ better with this logo as a case study, but I think it would be more reasonable to interpret that the OP wants the logo in his document, and he thinks TikZ is a good way of doing that. For this interpretation it makes sense to suggest alternative approaches, like including an image or drawing it in different software. For Excel it is a different case, because you can't put an Excel table in your LaTeX document other than making a screenshot, which would be a very undesirable solution -
    – Marijn
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 9:25
  • whereas putting an SVG logo made in Inkscape in your document (converted to pdf for example) can be a high quality solution. By the way there also exist converters from Excel files to LaTeX code (for example ctan.org/pkg/excel2latex), so even the advice 'make your table in Excel' can be reasonable in certain cases (for example when you have regularly updated data in Excel and you want to make weekly reports in LaTeX or something).
    – Marijn
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 9:29
  • 2
    @ Marjin. I think there is a big difference between suggesting a converter tool like ExceltoLaTex and suggesting a different software like in my example question above. I also disagree about the interpretation of the question. Quote from the question I linked: I know a little bit about TIKZ, but I would like help to do or how to start to build the logo of the institution in which I study. Actually this does not really leave a lot room for interpretation in my opinion. OP wants a solution with LaTeX and not learn how to handle it in another software.
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 9:44
  • 1
    @Roland how is "write a table in Excel and then automatically convert to LaTeX to use in your document" different from "draw a figure in Inkscape and then automatically convert to pdf to use in your document"? As for the interpretation of the question, I think it is plausible that this is an X-Y problem, i.e., the OP asks about Y (draw in Tikz) but actually wants to do X (use logo in document).
    – Marijn
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 11:48
  • 1
    @Marjin to be fair no one would suggest to do a table in excel and then convert it with exel2latex a priori. It depends on the question and requirements. For example does the excel table already exist, thus it is less laborious to just convert it. I also see no advantage of excel so this might be a bad example anyway. Nevertheless, I the case in my question the OPs question and wording is very clear. Also is the problem perfectly feasible in TikZ (draw 9 green rectangles and 1 red circle). There are situations where I would recommend Inkscape instead of TikZ. But this just ain't one.
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 0:22

I would say that the actual question is "how can I include the logo in a latex document" Tikz is just a suggested solution in the question. Ignoring suggested solutions in questions is the norm rather than the exception for answers on the site.

For logos especially, the correct answer here is almost certainly to download the logo from


and then use \includegraphics{logo_Rio_Verde} which uses essentially the same non-tikz latex code as the inkscape answer that you flagged.

Note that it is not just concerns about trademark infringement that may lead to suggestions to use alternative tools than the one suggested.

Draw an aircraft with Tikz

Explicitly asks for tikz in the title, but has some answers using tikz, some using other non-tikz latex code, some using external tools or fonts. That seems natural for any of these type of drawing questions that are on (or past) the boundary of where it makes sense to have a purely tex soultion.

  • Thanks for you answer. Why do you think that he wants to include the graph into a document? He never mentions that. All he says he wants to draw the red circle and the green rectangles. He explicitly mentions that he does not want to write the institutes name. (quote: but I would like help to do or how to start to build the logo of the institution in which I study. If it is all the logo it would be great, if not, that it is only the logo in green and red above).
    – Roland
    Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 8:44
  • @Roland I can think of no reason why anyone would ask how to produce a logo in a latex forum other than they want to produce a document using the logo. The answer I suggest above does exactly what the question you quote in this comment says. It builds the entire logo. It uses \includegraphics not tikz, but that is really a technical part of the answer not addressing a different question. If I was answering I would suggest asking if the university has a scalable svg or pdf logo rather than the png one, but that is a minor improvement for that question not addressing your point here. Commented Apr 19, 2021 at 8:49

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