# Why we can not use \< to specify \textless

Less than and more than can be specified by using \textless and \textgreater. Why we can not use something like \< or \>? Won't it be much easier?

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The commands \< and \> are used in the tabbing environment. But I've never seen a real usage for \textless and \textgreater: what are you using them for? – egreg Feb 4 '14 at 9:59

if you do not need the tabbing environment then you can overwrite the original definitions:

\documentclass{report}
\let\<\textless
\let\>\textgreater
\begin{document}

\<foo\> <foo>

\end{document}


With \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} there will be no difference!

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+1 for [T1]{fontenc}, then you can simply use <...> as you mention. – yo' Feb 4 '14 at 10:09