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I would like to use \medstar from the MnSymbol package, but it seems that MnSymbol conflicts with other packages I am using including amsmath.

I've tried to use \FiveStarOpen from bbding as suggested here: Latex command for unfilled \bigstar

But for some reason \FiveStarOpen does not display an unfilled star, but the figure '9' instead.

Here is the list of packages that I am using: cite, graphicx, epstopdf, tikz, amsmath, amsfonts, amsthm, cancel, array, mdwmath, mdwtab, fixltx2e, url, color, enumerate, comment.

I am a beginner at Latex, so any help will be greatly appreciated!

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Can you please add a full minimal working example so that people can see what packages etc you need to get your code to work. Rather than just listing the packages that you use it really helps if you can provide a minimal template for your tex file so that people can test it to see how to help you. – Andrew Aug 29 '14 at 20:17
What about \usepackage{pifont} and \ding{73}? However, in math you should use \text{\ding{73}} and, similarly, \text{\FiveStarOpen} – egreg Aug 29 '14 at 20:24
Thanks @egreg that was exactly my problem. – tfh Aug 29 '14 at 20:48
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The suggestions in Latex command for unfilled \bigstar are good, but they miss a point: if you need the hollow star in math mode, you need to box it.

Since you're using amsmath, you can do with


It's convenient to define a special command, because in this way you can at any moment change the definition in just one place and so modify all appearances of the symbol in the document.

For instance, if you decide to go for \ding{73} of the pifont package (which might be convenient because it is a Type1 font, while bbding is only available in bitmap form), you can simply change the above line into


and all appearances of \hollowstar will change after a run of LaTeX.

Note that if you want to assign the symbol the meaning of a binary operation, you should define


If a binary relation, use \mathrel.

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