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In addition to the "divides" relation, denoted b | a, there is also a "divisible by" relation expressing the converse (a is divisible by b), often designated with three vertical dots.

Up until now, I've settled with



But there are two problems with the symbol:

  • It is too high relative to the numbers
  • It is also somewhat too long

A search with Detexify and the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List doesn't reveal anything more suitable. How do I get a good looking "divisible by" symbol?

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Is $A \scalebox{0.75}{\vdots} B$ closer to what you want? – percusse Oct 23 '11 at 21:56
I agree with egreg that this is not an universal convention. Is this a local convention (in some country)? or is this a new convention in some new branch of mathematics? I am just curious. – Sony Oct 24 '11 at 11:57
@Sony: This is common in some Eastern Europe countries and Russia. On the other hand, the "|" relation is much less used in these countries. – Andrey Vihrov Oct 24 '11 at 13:05
up vote 40 down vote accepted

I've never seen that symbol. But here's how you can define it


It's just an almost straightforward modification of \vdots.

enter image description here

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Here's another way to define a \divby symbol (it additionally requires graphicx though):


enter image description here

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I have another solution. :) You could also use TikZ. (This may be quite straightforward if you load the package in your preamble anyway.)



\newcommand{\divby}{\ \tikz \foreach \y in {0ex, 0.65ex, 1.3ex} \fill (0,\y) circle (0.5pt);\ }

$15\divby 3$

enter image description here

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As the old saying goes: "When in doubt, use TikZ" – Martin Tapankov Oct 24 '11 at 10:35
I would actually recommend against using TiKZ for typography when there is a vanilla LaTeX solution such as egreg's, because it will be much slower. – Niel de Beaudrap Oct 24 '11 at 11:12

Using the stackengine package:

enter image description here

 \mathrel{\Shortstack{{.} {.} {.}}}}
$15\divby 3$
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