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Is it possible to create something like $\rightarrow^*$ only flipped to the left?

Someone suggested using $\mathbin{{}^*\leftarrow}$ but this still doesn't give me the same spacing.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Use \mathrel instead of \mathbin (the arrows are regarded as relational symbols), and enclose \leftarrow in braces as to "kill" the spacing around it: $\mathrel{{}^*{\leftarrow}}$.

As egreg remarks, one can also use $\mathrel{^*}\leftarrow$ to get exactly the same spacing: The {} before ^ is actually not needed, and TeX doesn't add any space between the relational symbols \mathrel{^*} and \leftarrow. (The advantage of the first solution (with or without {}) is somehow: One can be sure that it works without the knowledge about spacing between relational symbols.)

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TeX doesn't add space between relation symbols, so \mathrel{^*}\leftarrow produces the same result. – egreg Apr 3 '11 at 21:43
Thanks a lot for reminding me, @egreg! – Hendrik Vogt Apr 4 '11 at 11:18

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