asy - Asymptote: a script-based vector graphics language


asy [options] [file ...]


Asymptote is a powerful descriptive vector graphics language for technical drawings, inspired by MetaPost but with an improved C++-like syntax. Asymptote provides for figures the same high-quality level of typesetting that LaTeX does for scientific text.


If no arguments are given, Asymptote runs in interactive mode.

If "-" is given as the file argument, Asymptote reads from standard input.

A summary of options is included below. The effect of most options can be negated by prepending no to the option name. Default values for most options may also be entered in the file .asy/config.asy in the user's home directory using the long form:

  import settings;

For a complete description, see the Info files.

View output; command-line only.
-a,-align C|B|T|Z
Center, Bottom, Top, or Zero page alignment [C].
-antialias n
Antialiasing width for rasterized output [2]. -arcballradius pixels Arcball radius [750]
Automatically activate 3D scene [true]. -autobillboard 3D labels always face viewer by default [true]
-autoimport string
Module to automatically import.
Enable automatic importing of plain [true].
Autoplay 3D animations [false].
Enable automatic PDF page rotation [false].
Mask fpu exceptions in batch mode [false].
View output in batch mode [false].
Convert all colors to black and white [false].
-cd directory
Set current directory; command-line only.
Convert rgb colors to cmyk [false].
-c,-command string
Command to autoexecute.
Conserve memory at the expense of speed [false].
Enable debugging messages [false].
-divisor n
Garbage collect using purge(divisor=n) [2].
-doubleclick ms
Emulated double-click timeout [200].
Embed rendered preview image [true].
Exit interactive mode on EOF [true].
Fit rendered image to screen [true]. -framerate frames/sec Animation speed [30]
Allow write to other directory [false].
Convert all colors to grayscale [false].
Show summary of options; command-line only.
-historylines n
Retain n lines of history [1000].
-hyperrefOptions str
LaTeX hyperref package options [setpagesize=false,unicode].
Iconify rendering window [false].
Generate inline embedded image [false].
Generate inline TeX code [false].
Mask fpu exceptions in interactive mode [true].
View output in interactive mode [true].
Write expressions entered at the prompt to stdout [true].
Keep intermediate files [false].
Keep intermediate LaTeX .aux files [false].
-level n
Postscript level [3].
List available global functions and variables [false].
Use a local interactive history file [false].
Loop 3D animations [false].
Mask fpu exceptions; command-line only.
-maxtile pair
Maximum rendering tile size [(0,0)].
-maxviewport pair
Maximum viewport size [(2048,2048)].
Input code over multiple lines at the prompt [false].
View output from multiple batch-mode files [false].
-multisample n
Multisampling width for screen images [4].
-O,-offset pair
PostScript offset [(0,0)].
-f,-outformat format
Convert each output file to specified format.
-o,-outname name
Alternative output directory/filename.
Parse file [false].
Automatically reload document in pdfviewer [false].
-pdfreloaddelay usec
Delay before attempting initial pdf reload [750000].
-position pair
Initial 3D rendering screen position [(0,0)].
Embed 3D PRC graphics in PDF output [true].
-prompt string
Prompt [> ].
-prompt2 string
Continuation prompt for multiline input [..].
Suppress welcome message [false].
-render n
Render 3D graphics using n pixels per bp (-1=auto) [-1].
-resizestep step
Resize step [1.2].
reverse 3D animations [false].
Convert cmyk colors to rgb [false].
Disable system call [true].
-scroll n
Scroll standard output n lines at a time [0].
-spinstep deg/sec
Spin speed [60].
Interactive prompt auto-completion [true].
-tex engine
latex|pdflatex|xelatex|tex|pdftex|context|none [latex].
Render thick 3D lines [true].
Render thin 3D lines [true].
Use POSIX threads for 3D rendering [true].
Show 3D toolbar in PDF output [true].
Show translated virtual machine code [false].
Run LaTeX twice (to resolve references) [false].
Use two-sided 3D lighting model for rendering [true].
-u,-user string
General purpose user string.
Increase verbosity level (can specify multiple times) [0].
Show version; command-line only.
Wait for child processes to finish before exiting [false].
-warn string
Enable warning; command-line only.
Show where listed variables are declared [false].
-zoomfactor factor
Zoom step factor [1.05].
-zoomstep step
Mouse motion zoom step [0.1].


Asymptote is documented fully in the asymptote Info page. The manual can also be accessed in interactive mode with the "help" command.


Asymptote was written by Andy Hammerlindl, John Bowman, and Tom Prince.

This manual page was written by Hubert Chan for the Debian project (but may be used by others).