Typically when adding locators I would use a button i.e. something along the lines

    Button["Add locator",AppendTo[pt,{0,0}]]}]

However, say I wanted to do the same, but within a manipulate and with a SetterBar[] (or Slider[] or PopupMenu[]). I have tried several approaches, but the best I have come up with is at best sketchy. The following code works, but you have to move a locator before a new one shows up (or goes away).


update[list_, i_] :=If[Length[list] < i, Append[list, {0, 0}], Take[list, i]]<


I have tried to place Dynamic[] in various places, but to no avail. Is there some way to use SetterBar[] and get as smooth results as with Button[]?

  • $\begingroup$ Any reason for using a button instead of the option LocatorAutoCreate->True to add locators ? $\endgroup$
    – kglr
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ In case you don't know, there is a LocatorAutoCreate option for LocatorPane that adds/removes points when alt-clicking. $\endgroup$
    – jVincent
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @kguler Originally the button adds a locator at the position which is the average of all the other locators, but I removed it since it wasn't relevant to the question. So no, there isn't really a reason :-) $\endgroup$
    – E.O.
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please see this code mathematica.stackexchange.com/a/14149/193 $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:27

1 Answer 1


As noted in comments, you can normally have the functionality of being able to add and remove points just by calling LocatorPane with LocatorAutoCreate->True and alt-clicking.

 pts = {{0, 0}};
     Dynamic@Graphics[{Red, Point[pts]}, 
     PlotRange -> {{-2, 2}, {-2, 2}}],
 LocatorAutoCreate -> True]

In case this is not enought or more control is wanted, you can use a DynamicWrapper to change pts without having to reload the LocatorPane

Manipulate[DynamicModule[{pt = {{0, 0}}},

      LocatorPane[Dynamic[pt[[1 ;; nrPts]], (pt[[1 ;; nrPts]] = #) &], 
         Dynamic[Graphics[{Red, Point[pt]}, PlotRange -> {{-2, 2}, {-2, 2}}]]
, If[Length@pt < nrPts, pt = PadRight[pt, nrPts, {{0, 0}}]]]
], {nrPts, {1, 2, 3, 4}, SetterBar}]

In the above, you could hide points currenlty inactive by only showing Point[pt[[1;;nrPts]] in graphcis, but I left them visible just to show that they stay even when not being manipulated.


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