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In mathematical writing I often use \ell when I need an 'ell' variable because l looks like a 1. In fact, expect this is why the symbol exists :)

Now, it often happens that my 'ell' stands for (l)eft, and I would like to have a symbol fr an 'r' variable that stands for (r)ight.

Is there a simple way to make a cursive looking r?

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the easiest way would be to find a script font with lowercase letters and a slope compatible with the slope of the \ell. such an alphabet is present in the stix fonts, and i'm sure someone else can identify a few others. unfortunately, most "traditional" script alphabets are too heavily sloped, and the most "common" script alphabets designed for use with tex have only uppercase letters. –  barbara beeton Aug 28 '13 at 18:20
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The "Mathematical Script Small R" is just a Unicode character, so if you can enter it in your editor, and you have a font that includes a suitable representation, then it's as simple as this:

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{STIXGeneral}
\begin{document}
small r: 𝓇  there.
\end{document}

I'm using MacVim and xelatex with TexLive 2013 here and I get this

small curly r

On the Mac you can get the symbol from the character viewer. This is the information it gives about it.

𝓇
MATHEMATICAL SCRIPT SMALL R
Unicode: U+1D4C7 (U+D835 U+DCC7), UTF-8: F0 9D 93 87

And if entering the character from the viewer is too laborious you can always define a little macro for it:

\def\arr{\hbox{𝓇}}

(This feels vaguely like something for http://www.talklikeapirate.com/)

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Exactly what I wanted, thanks! –  yrodro Aug 29 '13 at 2:40
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