The Shapes language

— project web —

This is the homepage of Shapes, a powerful functional drawing language with LaTeX support.

Quick links


Shapes is under development, and will in the end be a high level graphics language which compiles to pdf, just like MetaPost is used to produce PostScript. The language design is inspired by many existing languages, including pdf and MetaPost. Another language to be mentioned here is Asymptote, which has been developed during the same years and provides similar functionality to Shapes.


The highlights of Shapes include


It should also mentioned what Shapes is not:

The name of the game

For more than a year — when the Shapes embryo was just a one man's pet project — the working name was MetaPDF, clearly inspired by MetaPost. However, as was pointed out by the local TeX-guru (who is now a co-developer of Shapes), the name MetaPDF inevitably suggests a direct continuation of the MetaFont to MetaPost development. Shapes isn't so the name had to be changed. Then, I came up with the idea Drawl, the most natural name of a drawing language. However, that had been in use since the 1960's, and with the last version that I am aware of being Drawl 70. Now, Drool not only sounded similar, but is also what people are expected to do when they see nice shapes, and gave name to this project for many months. Obviously, the name had to change again, this time because Drool turned out also to be the abbreviation used for Dave's recycled OO language.

People and thanks

Credit is due to a lot of people. As an open source project, relying heavily on free software components and tools, the list of people who have more or less directly contributed to this project is endless, and a warm thanks goes to everybody on this long list. Here, a few persons deserving being mentioned for having contributed directly Shapes, will be listed.


These are the people having contributed to the project with code:


Thanks goes to the following people for being willing to try out Shapes and provide feedback (excluding contributors):

Special thanks

Special thanks goes to:
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