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Using LaTeX, how does one typeset the D- and L- prefixes, which refer to dextrorotatory and levorotatory isomers. I have tried \footnotesize~D\normalsize and it looks okay, but didn't know if there was a better or more correct approach.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can do for example \textsc{d}-Glucose, which requests small caps. This only looks good if the font family you're using actually provides small caps.

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Thanks, I'm pretty sure that is correct. I tried \textsc{D} and it didn't work -- now I see why. –  user001 Jan 10 '12 at 20:40

It would probably overkill to load the package just for this purpose but the chemmacros package provides a lot of IUPAC naming commands. Amongst these are \D and \L for the FISCHER stereo descriptors. With default settings they are only valid inside the \iupac{} command in order not to overwrite the usual definition of \L.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{chemmacros}

\begin{document}

\iupac{\D-Glucose}
\iupac{\L-Alanine}

\end{document}

enter image description here

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