# Big tilde in math mode

How do I get a really wide tilde?

I need to cover at least abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz

The \widetilde command does not work. Nor using \stackrel with \sim.

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Welcome to TeX.SX! There's no such thing: the result would be appalling. –  egreg Jul 16 '12 at 20:27
Couldn't resist implementing Paulo's attempt from meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/2605/… ;). @Lilia, please don't take this personally in any way! –  doncherry Jul 16 '12 at 21:02
@Mico Seeing that you, egreg and David (i.e. everybody who participated in this question) disliked the aesthetics of the output, and seeing that our mod Stefan actually suggested this method, which almost makes it policy, I thought it'd be applicable here. I wouldn't have applied the tag without a wink though. Feel free to revert it -- it might be worthwhile bringing up the issue on meta again, if we really want to apply this or not. If we don't want to do it when people like David Carlisle and egreg agree, I don't know when we would want to. –  doncherry Jul 16 '12 at 21:36
@doncherry I did not comment on any aesthetic implied by the question, merely on the result of my proposed solution (which is depressingly flat in the middle) (there is some parallel discussion in the chat session). –  David Carlisle Jul 16 '12 at 22:34
wouldn't it be better to present this as (...)^{\sim} ? –  barbara beeton Jul 19 '12 at 21:05

You could load the mtpro2 (Mathtime Pro 2) to generate superwide tildes. An MWE (minimum working example) that shows how to do this is given below. First, though, some comments about this package: In addition to letting you do lots of really cool and useful things, this package also allows you create a summation symbol that's a full two inches (5 centimeters) [!!] tall. The font's creator issues the following warning regarding the use of such a symbol:

... thereby assuring yourself (as well as the designer of the MathTime fonts) the lasting enmity of journal editors everywhere. [Direct quote from p. 14 of the package's user guide]

This warning applies not only to using super-tall summation symbols; it certainly applies to super-wide tilde and hat symbols as well. Put differently: Just because the mtpro package lets you create certain questionable things (such as super-tall summation symbols and super-wide tildes) doesn't mean that you have to do them.

Here, then, is an MWE that uses the mtpro2 package to place a ridiculously wide tilde over both abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz and abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (ooooh!).

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[lite]{mtpro2}
\begin{document}
$\widetilde{\mathit{abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}}$

$\widetilde{\mathit{abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}}$
\end{document}


Addendum: The full mtpro2 package is not free. However, its so-called lite subset -- which is all that's required to produce the rather dubious effects shown above, is free. This package is not on the CTAN, but it may be downloaded from this site.

Second addendum (March 2013): The mtpro2 package can also be used to produce super-wide "hat" symbols, by using its \widehat command.

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I stand corrected: there is such a thing. But the result is appalling, so I wasn't completely wrong. –  egreg Jul 16 '12 at 20:47
@egreg - I fully agree with you that the effect is appalling. I suspect that the availability of these super-wide accents in the mtpro2 package is merely a by-product of having some truly useful capabilities such as "real" tall curly braces (both vertical as well as horizontal -- the latter for overbrace and underbrace constructions, I suppose). I would certainly hope that any author who actually submitted a paper containing such appalling wide-accented constructs to a journal would indeed earn the immediate and lasting enmity of all editors. –  Mico Jul 16 '12 at 21:00
Mico:I will download now the mtpro2 package that you suggest. Thank you indeed for your help. –  Lilia Del Riego Jul 17 '12 at 15:41

It's sort of horrible, but it does stretch:

\documentclass{article}

\makeatletter
\def\oversortoftilde#1{\mathop{\vbox{\m@th\ialign{##\crcr\noalign{\kern3\p@}%
\sortoftildefill\crcr\noalign{\kern3\p@\nointerlineskip}%
$\hfil\displaystyle{#1}\hfil$\crcr}}}\limits}

\def\sortoftildefill{$\m@th \setbox\z@\hbox{$\braceld$}% \braceld\leaders\vrule \@height\ht\z@ \@depth\z@\hfill\braceru$}

\makeatother

\begin{document}

$\widetilde{abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}$
$\oversortoftilde{abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}$

\end{document}

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Thank you, David... Indeed thank you –  Lilia Del Riego Jul 17 '12 at 15:40

Following the approach of Really wide hat symbol, using the scalerel package

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{scalerel}

\newcommand\reallywidetilde[1]{%
\begin{array}{c}
\stretchto{
\scaleto{
\scalerel*[\widthof{#1}]{\sim}
{\rule[-\textheight/2]{1ex}{\textheight}} %WIDTH-LIMITED BIG TILDE
}{1.25\textheight} % THIS STRETCHES THE TILDE A LITTLE EXTRA WIDE
}{0.8ex}\\           % THIS SQUEEZES THE TILDE TO 0.8ex HEIGHT
#1                   % THIS STACKS THE TILDE ATOP THE ARGUMENT
\end{array}
}

\begin{document}

$\reallywidetilde{zbcdefghijklm}$

$\reallywidetilde{zbcdefghijk}$

$\reallywidetilde{zbcdefghi}$

$\reallywidetilde{zbcdefg}$

$\reallywidetilde{zbcde}$

$\reallywidetilde{zbc}$

$\reallywidetilde{zb}$

\end{document}


The height of the tilde is, of course, adjustable, set currently to 0.8ex. Best of all\ldots it's free.

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