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I am wondering if there is some alternative to math mode or some other way to use some things directly, e.g.

β instead of \beta

A' instead of A^\prime

A | B instead of A \mid B (when using A | B in math mode, the space between A, | and B gets lost)

It would make formulas more comfortable to read.

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some ideas in tex.stackexchange.com/questions/96225/… – David Carlisle Mar 13 '13 at 16:06

It is not a good idea to change the behaviour of |, and ' is by default ^\prime




$A|B = A\mid B $

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+1; but probably it's worth noting that the absolute value |a| can't be written with | any more. – egreg Mar 13 '13 at 16:43
but with the old definition $\mathchar"426A a\mathchar"526A$ – Herbert Mar 13 '13 at 17:01
Which is not very nice, is it? :) However \mathopen|a\mathclose| would work. In conclusion, I don't think that changing | to mean \mid is so convenient, which I think you agree to. – egreg Mar 13 '13 at 17:04
yes, | shouldn't be redefined – Herbert Mar 13 '13 at 17:04

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