{symbols} is about specific non-alphabetic symbols or math symbols, e.g., about looking-up, constructing, or using symbols. For questions about {fonts} or alphabetic {characters} use the respective tag instead.

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341
votes
9answers
419k views

How does one insert a backslash or a tilde (~) into LaTeX?

How does one insert a "\" (backslash) into the text of a LaTeX document? And how does one insert a "~" (tilde)? (If you insert \~, it will give you a tilde as an accent over the following letter.) ...
267
votes
11answers
34k views

How to look up a symbol or identify a math symbol or character?

I know what my symbol or character looks like, but I don't know what the command is or which math alphabet it came from. How do I go about finding this out?
136
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the use of percent signs (%) at the end of lines?

I see that the code in many packages and examples contains percent signs % at the end of (many) lines. What are they used for? Do they affect the parsing of those lines?
91
votes
6answers
122k views

How can I get bold math symbols?

To make Latin-letter variables bold I can use e.g. \mathbf{a}, but while putting Greek letters or symbols such as \nabla inside \mathbf doesn't cause any errors or warnings, it also doesn't do ...
86
votes
4answers
130k views

Why do the less than symbol (<) and the greater than symbol (>) appear wrong as upside down exclamation (¡) or question mark (¿)?

When typing < or > in LaTeX and compiling with pdflatex, the less than and greater than symbols appear at upside down exclamation points. I'm not in math mode.
75
votes
6answers
8k views

Prettiest way to typeset “C++” (cplusplus)?

Writing "C++" in plain text results in an ugly setting, as the '+' signs are too big and too spaced: I've seen around the web several marcos for typesetting the "C++" symbol, ranging from mild ...
73
votes
8answers
27k views

Correctly typesetting a tilde

How do I set the tilde (~) character correctly in LaTeX? There’s a question discussing that on Stack Overflow, with a lot of answers. But dare I say it? They all suck: \textasciitilde is too high, ...
69
votes
10answers
32k views

Good way to make \textcircled numbers?

I'm trying to make some good-looking numbers in a circle, using the simple command: \textcircled{1} However, the circle is misaligned vertically with the number, and look a bit sloppy: Any ...
69
votes
8answers
16k views

How to typeset $:=$ correctly?

I like to use $:=$ for "is defined to be equal to", but this is never typeset with the symmetry one would like, as the colon is always too low relatively to the equals sign. Is there any way of ...
67
votes
3answers
109k views

Absolute Value Symbols

What is the "best LaTeX practices" for writing absolute value symbols? Are there any packages which provide good methods? Some options include |x| and \mid x \mid, but I'm not sure which is best...
63
votes
4answers
35k views

\mid, | (vertical bar), \vert, \lvert, \rvert, \divides

What's the difference between the different vertical bars? $S = \{\, x \mid x \not= 17 \,\}$ $a \vert b$ implies $a \leq b$ when $b \ne 0$ $a|b$ implies $a \leq b$ when $b \ne 0$ $\lvert x \rvert$ is ...
62
votes
8answers
40k views

What's the best way to write e-mail addresses?

When trying to write an e-mail address, there are always problems with the @ sign. Solutions I've seen suggested are using some verbatim environment (more difficult in footnotes) and using a ...
58
votes
5answers
31k views

Symbols instead of numbers as footnote markers

How can I make LaTeX use symbols (*, †, ‡, and so on) instead of numbers to mark footnotes? (The numbers are confusing because I use superscripted numbers for citations.)
58
votes
10answers
42k views

What is the best symbol for vector/matrix transpose?

What is the best or most popular symbol for vector/matrix transpose? I have used simply ^T, for example $c^T x$. I think it is ugly, mainly because it is a little too big compared with vector ...
58
votes
4answers
58k views

Command for argmin or argmax?

How can you get the argmin or argmax in Latex? Two solutions I found are: \underset{x}{\operatorname{argmax}} \DeclareMathOperator*{\argmin}{arg\,min} Any other ideas? [1] ...
57
votes
2answers
6k views

How to get rid of navigation symbols in beamer?

When creating presentations in beamer, those little symbols that you can click on and will take you to different parts of your presentation are automatically included on your slides. I don't like ...
57
votes
2answers
62k views

'Floor' and 'ceiling' functions

Is there a convenient way to typeset the floor or ceiling of a number, without needing to separately code the left and right parts? For example, is there some way to do $\ceil{x}$ instead of $\lceil ...
56
votes
3answers
60k views

What is the LaTeX command for “em dash” (—)?

I am trying to insert the symbol in the title of the question, which I copied from a PDF article, but it appears as space in the output file. What is the corresponding LaTeX command?
47
votes
1answer
518 views

How to get intersection point(s) of two glyphs?

Longer post I'd like to introduce you my long-term task which I wish to see solved one day. Let's have two glyphs (any fonts, glyphs, location, transformation), one fixed, one moveable and some ...
45
votes
2answers
4k views

Importing a Single Symbol From a Different Font

Is there a general way to change the font of a particular symbol without switching packages? For example, suppose I'm using Computer Modern for my entire document, but I want the "subset" operator to ...
45
votes
1answer
33k views

X mark to match checkmark

I am looking to have an X mark that compliments the \checkmark symbol in the amsmath package. I've had a look at some in symbols-a4.pdf but can't seem to find the matching one! What symbol works well? ...
45
votes
2answers
57k views

Which dot character to use in which context?

Wikipedia lists several dot characters in Unicode. These are the ones that are ambiguous to me: interpunct, middle dot (·) &middot; &#183; U+00B7 "midpoint (in typography)" ...
44
votes
5answers
45k views

How to escape the & (ampersand) character in BibTeX?

I would like to put a & character in a BibTeX publisher tag. Thus far I have tried: \& {&} {\&} "&" with the full value enclosed in curly braces and double quotes. No matter ...
41
votes
4answers
50k views

How to type special/accented letters in LaTeX?

How to type these special letters from European languages in latex? ä, é, and L'?
41
votes
4answers
67k views

“inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8” error while trying to write a degree symbol (invisible character)

No matter how I try to do it I always get the following error : ! Package inputenc Error: Unicode char \u8:­ not set up for use with LaTeX. I have tried using ­­­$^{\circ}$, \deg, \textdegree, ...
39
votes
2answers
8k views

“Closed” (square) root symbol

I found a cool trick in the LaTeX wikibook which allows the square root sign to be altered such that it "closes" over its contents. Here's an example: ("closed" root on the left, normal one on the ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

\subseteq + \circ as a single symbol (“open subset”)

I'm trying to create symbols \opn for "open subset" and \cls "closed subset". I want them to look like this: My current solution is: ...
37
votes
3answers
42k views

\Rightarrow vs. \implies, and “does not imply” symbol

Is it better to use \Rightarrow or \implies to symbolize logical implications? Why? Also, if I write \not \Rightarrow, I get a symbol that means "does not imply." But if I type \not \implies, it ...
37
votes
2answers
1k views

Making “C♯” on my resume searchable

As discussed on How to make the correct hash-symbol in C Sharp, I chose to render the name of the C# language on my resume as C$^\sharp$ I'd like to keep that typographical touch. But I'm afraid ...
37
votes
1answer
46k views

Nice looking empty set?

I feel like the standard $\emptyset$ is ugly. By hand, my empty set symbol is a lot rounder, then this "slashed-zero"-type symbol. Two questions: Do people really use it (I mean people who have any ...
36
votes
3answers
2k views

How to create Candle Symbol in LaTeX

I have a need to insert a candle symbol in "elite" in the place of "i". I browsed through the comprehensive LaTeX symbols pdf and could not find any one matching up. Is there any easy way to achieve ...
35
votes
3answers
46k views

Escape character in LaTeX

I need to output the below text but since \ is a special character, I cannot: [RegularExpression(@"\d+")] Also sometimes I need use dollar sign $ as well but it seems to be a special char, too. ...
35
votes
2answers
10k views

Can I get a \widebar without using the mathabx package?

One can use \bar to put a bar over a letter in math mode, but often the bar isn't wide enough. An alternative is \overline, but this isn't an accent, so it doesn't take into account the skew of the ...
34
votes
5answers
8k views

Something between \frownie and \smiley

Inside a beamer presentation, I would like to compare and contrast several alternatives. For each, I would like to highlight the "pros" (with a \item[\Large\smiley]), the "cons" (with a ...
34
votes
1answer
50k views

\mathbb{Z} yields undefined control sequence error

I am using WinEdt 6 for compiling my TeX documents. I am getting an error with contains the line $\mathbb{Z}$ showing that it is undefined control sequence. How should I rectify it? Should I include ...
32
votes
6answers
2k views

Censoring Curse Words with Grawlixes

Suppose that I would like to censor a curse word <word> using grawlixes, e.g. "What the #@$! are you doing?!" How can I define a command \censor such that \censor{<word>} results in a ...
32
votes
6answers
1k views

How to typeset the house of an algebraic number?

I would like to reproduce the following text but I couldn't find the house symbol neither through Detexify nor by looking through the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List. I also tried combining ...
32
votes
5answers
8k views

Typeset an = with an ! above

I've seen an equals sign with a small exclamation mark on top being used to say "equals because of data that was given in the problem", for example for a boundary condition or initial value in a ...
32
votes
4answers
22k views

How to insert pipe symbol in (La)TeX?

How to insert pipe symbol | in TeX (LaTeX)? I have tried this sample with pdflatex tmp.tex \documentclass{extarticle} \begin{document} \textpipe \end{document} And it give undefined control ...
31
votes
2answers
21k views

\bm package versus \boldsymbol

I'm typing a bold vector small x with a tilde sign above it. Now when I want to write its derivative, I'm putting a dot on top of everything. This is giving me problems and I found one solution: ...
30
votes
5answers
11k views

What's a good way to write “x does not divide y”?

The way I currently do it is $x \not | y$, which looks awful. There's got to be something better available.
30
votes
3answers
25k views

Symbol for Phone Number in Resume

I've chosen to create my resume in LaTeX ( out of curiosity ). I thought printing a "clean" symbol of a phone before my phone_no will look nice ... Is there such a symbol? any packages?
29
votes
5answers
915 views

How to make a plus sign with arrowheads on each of the four endpoints?

There is a common operation in the sparse-direct literature (see pg. 7) called an "extend-add", and it is usually denoted with a particular symbol that looks like a large plus sign with arrowheads on ...
29
votes
3answers
877 views

New relation symbol

I am defining a new relation in one of my new papers. I want to use the following symbol, because it conveys the meaning of my relation. Is there such a symbol in LaTex ? It is very similar to \leq ...
29
votes
3answers
29k views

Label equation with a symbol

I would like to label an equation with an arbitrary symbol, rather than a number, or letter. Is this possible?
29
votes
1answer
43k views

How to typset the symbol “^” (caret/circumflex/hat)

I need to display the symbol '^' d <- dist(fascores, method = "euclidean")^2 How do I do that?
28
votes
7answers
4k views

How to typeset Triforce?

What would be the best practice approach to typeset the Triforce symbol known from the Nintendo® Zelda™ series?
27
votes
6answers
23k views

Mathematical symbol for disjoint set union

In our lecture script, we use the notion of disjoint set union. It uses a special symbol to differentiate the disjoint from the usual set union, where we add an extra dot inside of the \cup symbol. Is ...
27
votes
6answers
18k views

Typesetting of negative versus minus?

I've occasionally seen a negative (when a number is simply negative, not a subtraction), typeset as negative sign that's slightly skinnier and above the centre line of text. Is this proper notation ...
27
votes
4answers
4k views

Free ornaments font

I'm looking for a free ornaments font. I know about webomint and pifont. Where can I find more glyphs?