# How can I join two letters with an arrow?

I have to write a manual for a game. The explanations include visuals like:

In short, I will need a circle (not absolute must, a square will also do) around two letters, and an arrow from letter 1 to letter 2. (Sometimes it will be anticlockwise.)

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You can use Tikz and its remember picture property. Here is just a starting point for you base on this answer by Jake. You can of course start to play with the parameters (e.g. bending!) to fine tune the results for your taste.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{tikz}
\tikzset{
every picture/.style={
remember picture,   % Make nodes available to all TikZ pictures
inner xsep=0pt, % Remove horizontal padding
inner ysep=1pt, % Set small vertical padding
baseline,       % Align TikZ pictures at the baseline
every node/.style={
anchor=base % Align all nodes at the baseline
}
}
}
\begin{document}

b\tikz \node[circle, thin,draw](a) {e};n\tikz \node[circle, thin,draw](b) {e};dict
\tikz [overlay] \draw [->]  (a.north) to [bend right=-70]  (b.north);
\end{document}

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I suspect the OP will be doing this often. Can you package the code in a macro so that something like (say) \circles{benedict}{e}{e} connects the two e's? –  Ethan Bolker Jun 6 '14 at 16:01
@EthanBolker, You are indeed right and I was going to! The problem is, it can be very tricky. For example, how about \circles{comprehensive}{e}{e}? A workaround however, would be something in the lines of \circles{benedict}{2}{4}. I was going to and I still am going to try to convert it to macro but write now I'm on LaTeX-Less machine. I will try something tomorrow :) –  Pouya Jun 6 '14 at 16:43