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How do I write a solid plus sign, like the American Red Cross symbol/logo?

I'm a novice, so I'm not very good at going to CTAN archive and downloading and installing business -- it doesn't work half the time. So it would be nice if it doesn't involve too exotic packages.

Edit : I would like to use it in math mode.

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Not at all. Any Red Cross sign will do. I put American in case someone interprets Red Cross as a cross colored red. –  ashpool May 28 at 20:03
2  
1  
@John Wickerson Thanks! One of the answers in the linked question worked. If help from comments answers a question, what is the protocol? Am I suppose to delete the question? Or just leave it? –  ashpool May 28 at 20:13
    
@ashpool So you want to use it in math mode, but exactly how? It is supposed to act as a binary operator (a regular + sign), or as a relational symbol (such as less than), or as something else? Please specify. –  Gonzalo Medina May 28 at 21:58
    
@Mico The American Red Cross (and all others, as far as I know) use the same symbol: a red cross consisting of five touching squares. –  David Richerby May 29 at 21:21
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7 Answers 7

up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you just want a fat plus sign, which need not be identical to the American Red Cross logo, a pure Unicode (LuaLaTeX) solution is possible. You just need a font that contains either the ✚ symbol (U+271A Heavy Greek Cross) or, perhaps preferably, the ➕ symbol (U+2795 Heavy Plus Sign).

Here’s an example using the (too?) heavy greek cross symbol from the free font DejaVu Sans:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{unicode-math}

\setmainfont{DejaVu Sans}
\setmathfont{DejaVu Sans}

\newcommand\fplus{\mathrel✚}

\begin{document}

Some simple(?) math: $2 \fplus 2 \neq 4$

\end{document}

Some simple(?) math: 2 ✚ 2 ≠ 4

This has the advantage that you can copy and paste the text from the resulting PDF document without losing the cross symbol.

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LuaLaTeX does sound exotic. My laptop nearly crashed running it. –  ashpool May 31 at 0:08
2  
@ashpool The very first time you run LuaLaTeX on a document, it can take a very long time, and use much memory, as it builds a database of all your fonts. However, the next time, it will be about as fast as pdflatex. And it’s really not too excotic; it’s just the successor to pdflatex. –  Karl Ove Hufthammer May 31 at 6:51
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Package pifont provides several crosses via font ZapfDingbats, including a solid version:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{pifont}
\usepackage{color}
\begin{document}
\textcolor{red}{\ding{58}} \ding{54} \ding{60}
\end{document}

Result

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For such a geometric symbol the picture mode is sufficient; you can add an argument in order to parameterize the size.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{pict2e,xcolor}

\newcommand{\fplus}[1][black]{%
  \begingroup\leavevmode\color{#1}%
  \setlength{\unitlength}{1em}%
  \linethickness{.33em}%
  \begin{picture}(1,1)
  \put(0,0.5){\line(1,0){1}}
  \put(0.5,0){\line(0,1){1}}
  \end{picture}%
  \endgroup
}

\begin{document}

\fplus

\fplus[red]

\end{document}

enter image description here

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No answer is complete without tikz!

With tikz:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}

\newcommand{\fplus}[1][black]{%
  \tikz\draw[#1,line width=1em] (0,0) -- (1,0)(0.5,0.5) -- (0.5,-0.5);
}

\begin{document}

\fplus

\fplus[red]

\end{document}

enter image description here

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3  
I totally agree with your starting ;) –  Claudio Fiandrino May 30 at 9:24
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Compile the following with XeLaTeX:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xcolor,fontawesome}
\begin{document}
\textcolor{red}{%
  \tiny\faPlus \quad \scriptsize\faPlus \quad \footnotesize\faPlus \quad \small\faPlus \quad%
  \normalsize\faPlus \quad%
  \large\faPlus \quad \Large\faPlus \quad \LARGE\faPlus \quad \Huge\faPlus}
\end{document}
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This is not the correct symbol. The Red Cross symbol is formed of five equal-sized squares: each of the four limbs of the cross is as wide as it is long, and the corners are not rounded. –  David Richerby May 29 at 21:22
    
@DavidRicherby: Comment from the OP: "Not at all. Any Red Cross sign will do. I put American in case someone interprets Red Cross as a cross colored red." –  Werner May 29 at 21:24
1  
Exactly! The OP explicitly says they don't want any old cross that's coloured red: they want the specific shape of red cross used by a specific organization called the Red Cross. The symbol the OP is asking for is the one I described, not the one contained in your answer. –  David Richerby May 29 at 21:38
    
@DavidRicherby: You're absolutely correct. –  Werner May 29 at 21:39
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\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontenc}
\newcommand*\arc{{\fontfamily{pbk}\fontseries{db}\selectfont+}}
\begin{document}
\arc\ versus+
\end{document}

enter image description here

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\documentclass[margin=1mm]{standalone}
\usepackage{bbding}
\begin{document}
\Plus
\end{document}

Edit: To use in both text and math mode:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{bbding}
\usepackage{amstext}
\def\MPlus{{\ensuremath{\scriptscriptstyle \text{\Plus}}}}
\begin{document}

Text mode: 2\MPlus2  

Math mode: $2\MPlus2$

\end{document}

BTW, without any package, why not two rules?

\documentclass{article}
\def\RPlus{\rule[0.165em]{.5em}{.165em}\hspace{-.33em}\rule[0em]{.165em}{.5em}\,}
\begin{document}
Text mode: 2\RPlus2\par  
Math mode: $2\RPlus2$
\end{document}

Edit 2:

As Emil Jeřábek commented, the spacing in math mode can be improved using \mathbin{} ensuring that is the same that in other operators.

On the other hand, \Plus of bbding is a big symbol, and the symbol made with two rules was arbitrary set to .5em with no depth. If you want obtain a size and position similar to the normal `+, in the second case simply change the values for the rules.

For the \Plus of bbding package, one solution is use \raisebox{} and \scalebox{}. In the following MWE the custom symbol with huge font is overlapped with the normal + in red, to test the result easily:

MWE

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{bbding}
\usepackage{amstext,graphicx,color}
\def\MPlus{\ensuremath{\mathbin{\raisebox{-.1em}{\scalebox{.67}{\Plus}}}}}
\def\RPlus{\ensuremath{\mathbin{\rule[.13em]{.66em}{.22em}\hspace{-.44em}\rule[-.08em]{.22em}{.66em}\,}}}

\begin{document}

\verb|\Plus|: $2\mathbin{\text{\Plus}}2+2$ 

\verb|\MPlus|: $2\MPlus2+2$ 

\verb|\RPlus|: $2\RPlus2+2$ 

\Huge
$2 \MPlus\color{red}+ 2$

$2 \MPlus\color{red}\hspace{-1em}+ 2$

\end{document}
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1  
+1 for two rules, but in both cases, the symbol needs a \mathbin if it is to be used in formulas as a + operator. –  Emil Jeřábek May 30 at 21:20
    
I have to say I'm not entirely satisfied with this answer -- the size and position relative to other math symbols look all wrong. –  ashpool May 31 at 0:09
    
@EmilJeřábek Yes, indeed the spaces is better with $2\mathbin{\RPlus}2$. –  Fran May 31 at 0:18
1  
@ashpool, for the bbding symbol you can use \scalebox and \raisebox to adjust size and position to your font, with the rules is only matter of play with the values. I will edit the answer soon. –  Fran May 31 at 1:20
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