TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'd like to include solid and filled circles as part of the text block (indicating some kind of rating), as additional characters alongside to the text characters. See my first example below how I'd like to use them.

So far, I've found four options:

  1. Use the math symbols \circ and \bullet:

    Lorem $\circ \circ \bullet$ ipsum
  2. Using a picture environment of suitable size and \putting a \circle where needed.

  3. Use TikZ to have a symbol for a circle line and a filled circle, define them as commands and use them as needed.

      \fill (0,0) circle [radius=0.3em];
      \draw (0,0) circle [radius=0.3em];
  4. Use Tikz to place the circles as nodes (node distance would need some tweaking):

    \node[draw,circle,radius=0.3em] (c1){};
    \node[circle,radius=0.3em, fill] (c2)[right of=c1]{};

Which of these options is the one which fits best to having a block of symbols inside the text? Is there another way to do what I want to do?

share|improve this question
Do you need something more than Text \raisebox{-1pt}{\scalebox{1.6}{$\bullet$}} more text where the -1pt shift and 1.6 scale factor can be changed? Note \usepackage{graphic} is required. – Steven B. Segletes Feb 13 '14 at 11:51
I'd go for the first option. – karlkoeller Feb 13 '14 at 11:55
The advantage to using scaled-shifted-text symbols is quicker compilation, less code. Also, a typo on my earlier comment...the package is graphicx. – Steven B. Segletes Feb 13 '14 at 12:11
Don't forget it's also easy to color the circles with features of the xcolor package: \textcolor{blue!20}{...}, where the ... is your scaled/shifted bullet. – Steven B. Segletes Feb 13 '14 at 12:15
If you are using these in text, you might prefer to use text versions of the symbols which avoids the need to switch to maths mode. For example \textbullet. \textcircled{a} will give you a circled a. If you load the textcomp package, you also get \textopenbullet, \textbigcircle as well as other symbols. – cfr Feb 15 '14 at 0:34

I would suggest the commands




from the wasysym package, which show a circle or a filled circle respectively -- they should be identical to your request of a circle or 'bullet'.

By using


right before usage of the commands should scale your symbols.

I use \newmoon as an indicator for level of difficulty for my problem-solution package.

share|improve this answer
Is there any difference between these and \Circle/\CIRCLE from the same package? How do they differ from \textcircle and \textopenbullet from textcomp? – Roland Feb 15 '14 at 10:18
@Roland: As far as I got the right impression from the screen output, \Circle and \CIRCLE from the 'wasysym' package produce slightly larger symbols compared to the \fullmoon and \newmoon commands, whereas textcircled{} and \textopenbullet are either larger or smaller symbols, it is matter of taste only. By the way, did you mean \textcircle or \textcircled? There is a pdf file which contents a huge number of more or less useful symbols provided by various packages or fonts, available at www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/info/symbols/comprehensive/symbols-a4.pdf‎ – Christian Hupfer Feb 15 '14 at 14:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.