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If I think there's too much space between the $V$ and the , in $V$,, what's the best way to reduce it? It seems safe to use \kern and not safe to use \hspace, since if you use \hspace the line might break between the $V$ and the ,:

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}

%line broken between $V$ and ,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~%
For all $V$\hspace{-1pt}, the theorem holds.

%line broken between "all" and "$V$\kern-1pt,"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~%
For all $V$\kern-1pt, the theorem holds.

\end{document}

But is there a better way?

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1  
\kern is the proper way to do it (not \hspace) and for the reason you cite. Whether there is way to automate, short of rekerning the font, I do not know of any. –  Steven B. Segletes Feb 26 at 18:53
    
1  
I don't really think the space is too much. In fact, I often end math mode with a thin space ($y=x\,$,) so that the comma doesn't intrude on the math code. For $V$, it is fortunate I wouldn't have to do that. –  Dan Feb 26 at 19:50
3  
@Dan No!!!!!!!! –  yo' Feb 26 at 19:55
1  
@tohecz It is a respected tradition to put a little extra space around math. Knuth even allows for it with the \mathsurround primitive. I find that \mathsurround is far too indiscriminant and manually insert a little space when I think it is useful to improve readability. Despite your eight exclamation points (clearly added only to meet the minimum character requirement), I don't find $V$, has too much space (maybe a little more than is optimal, but not that bad). –  Dan Feb 27 at 23:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

I'd just insert a negative space \! inside the math mode of the V.

Example

\documentclass{article}
\pagestyle{empty}% for cropping
\newcommand\linefill{\par~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~}
\begin{document}
%line broken between $V$ and ,
\linefill
For all $V$\hspace{-1pt}, the theorem holds.
%line broken between "all" and "$V$\kern-1pt,"
\linefill
For all $V$\kern-1pt, the theorem holds.
%line broken as requested
\linefill
For all $V\!$, the theorem holds.
%line breaking without negative space
\linefill
For all $V$, the theorem holds.
\end{document}

Output

enter image description here

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An alternative is to use $V,$ which is semantically dubious as it uses the math italic comma rather than the one from the text font, but it does allow the font specified kern to be automatically added (\kern-1.66667 here)

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4  
while technically you're 100% correct, it might be useful to note that the math italic comma is in fact upright, and not sloped like a text italic comma. so the net effect is in the different spacing (the negative kern you cite), not in the shape. –  barbara beeton Feb 26 at 20:18
    
But if you type For all $V,$ the theorem holds., then you don't get the "extra-stretchable and less-shrinkable" space after the comma, right? (I'm assuming we're using the default \nonfrenchspacing.) But if we're using the Computer Modern fonts, and the font outside the math is Computer Modern Roman, then the commas in $V$, and $V,$ will look the same, right? –  MSC Apr 12 at 20:28

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