\begin{picture}(width,height)(x offset,y offset)
  picture commands

The picture environment allows you to create just about any kind of picture you want containing text, lines, arrows and circles. You tell LaTeX where to put things in the picture by specifying their coordinates. A coordinate is a number that may have a decimal point and a minus sign - a number like 5, 2.3 or -3.1416. A coordinate specifies a length in multiples of the unit length \unitlength, so if \unitlength has been set to 1cm, then the coordinate 2.54 specifies a length of 2.54 centimeters. You can change the value of \unitlength anywhere you want, using the \setlength command, but strange things will happen if you try changing it inside the picture environment.

A position is a pair of coordinates, such as (2.4,-5), specifying the point with x-coordinate 2.4 and y-coordinate -5. Coordinates are specified in the usual way with respect to an origin, which is normally at the lower-left corner of the picture. Note that when a position appears as an argument, it is not enclosed in braces; the parentheses serve to delimit the argument.

The picture environment has one mandatory argument, which is a position. It specifies the size of the picture. The environment produces a rectangular box with width and height determined by this argument's x- and y-coordinates.

The picture environment also has an optional position argument, following the size argument, that can change the origin. (Unlike ordinary optional arguments, this argument is not contained in square brackets.) The optional argument gives the coordinates of the point at the lower-left corner of the picture (thereby determining the origin). For example, if \unitlength has been set to 1mm, the command


 produces   a  picture   of  width  100  millimeters   and  height  200
 millimeters,  whose lower-left  corner is the point (10,20)  and whose
 upper-right  corner is therefore the point (110,220).   When you first
 draw a picture,  you will  omit  the optional  argument,  leaving  the
 origin  at the lower-left  corner.   If you then want  to modify  your
 picture by shifting everything, you just add the appropriate  optional

 The environment's  mandatory  argument determines  the nominal size of
 the picture.   This need  bear  no relation  to how large  the picture
 really  is; LaTeX will happily  allow  you to put things  outside  the
 picture, or even off the page.  The picture's  nominal size is used by
 TeX in determining how much room to leave for it.

 Everything that appears in a picture is drawn by the \put command. The

 \put (11.3,-.3){ ... }

 puts the object specified  by "..." in the picture, with its reference
 point at coordinates  (11.3,-.3).   The reference  points  for various
 objects will be described below.

 The \put command creates an LR box.  You can put anything  in the text
 argument  of the \put command  that you'd put into the argument  of an
 \mbox and related  commands.   When you do this,  the reference  point
 will be the lower left corner of the box.

 SEE ALSO Environments
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