What is the difference between ‍‍\ldots‎ and ‎\cdots‎?

For example, To write a sequence of points which is best to use? a_1,\ldots,a_n Or a_1,\cdots,a_n.

Couple of examples of the difference can be useful.

  • 3
    possible duplicate of \dots versus \ldots - is there a difference? – m0nhawk Jun 5 '13 at 10:26
  • 4
    Load amsmath and use \dots; in the vast majority of cases, the result will be what's usually found in mathematical publications. – egreg Jun 5 '13 at 10:28
  • 5
    Please do not vote so soon to close a question. The questioner should have the chance to respond to comments. It is better to initially ask whether the potential duplicate answers their question. – Andrew Swann Jun 5 '13 at 10:44
up vote 17 down vote accepted

Although I agree with egreg's comment, the difference is mainly of an aesthetic nature imo. It depends on the context which version to use, which is also how amsmath decides which to use.

Some examples:

a_1,\ldots,a_n aligns better than a_1,\cdots,a_n.

But a_1 \to \ldots \to a_n aligns worse than a_1 \to \cdots \to a_n.

The alignment chosen by amsmath is usually the one commonly found in mathematical articles. However, I guess its not really wrong or anything to deviate from it.

enter image description here

  • 1
    while some authors may deviate from the "usual" pattern, a copyeditor trained in math tradition will mark deviations except in very special cases. amsmath was constructed to follow traditional typographic usage (which is, as noted, based largely on alignment, to avoid calling attention to its appearance and thus away from the underlying meaning). – barbara beeton Jun 5 '13 at 12:28

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