# Companion for \ell

In mathematical writing I often use \ell when I need an 'ell' variable, because l looks like a 1. In fact, I expect this is why the symbol exists :).

Now, it often happens that my \ell stands for (l)eft, and I would like to have a symbol for an 'r' variable that stands for (r)ight.

Is there a simple way to make a cursive looking r?

• the easiest way would be to find a script font with lowercase letters and a slope compatible with the slope of the \ell. such an alphabet is present in the stix fonts, and i'm sure someone else can identify a few others. unfortunately, most "traditional" script alphabets are too heavily sloped, and the most "common" script alphabets designed for use with tex have only uppercase letters. – barbara beeton Aug 28 '13 at 18:20
• I'm surprized there is no link to that blog post nor to that post in this thread. – Clément Apr 8 '16 at 4:38

The "Mathematical Script Small R" is just a Unicode character, so if you can enter it in your editor, and you have a font that includes a suitable representation, then it's as simple as this:

\documentclass[a4paper]{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\setmainfont{STIXGeneral}
\begin{document}
small r: 𝓇  there.
\end{document}


I'm using MacVim and xelatex with TexLive 2013 here and I get this

On the Mac you can get the symbol from the character viewer. This is the information it gives about it.

𝓇
MATHEMATICAL SCRIPT SMALL R
Unicode: U+1D4C7 (U+D835 U+DCC7), UTF-8: F0 9D 93 87


And if entering the character from the viewer is too laborious you can always define a little macro for it:

\def\arr{\hbox{𝓇}}


(This feels vaguely like something for http://www.talklikeapirate.com/)

The unicode-math package provides this as either \mathscr{r} or \mscrr. Thruston’s solution of pasting 𝓇 will also work. Any complete math font should contain it.

By default, \mathscr and \mathcal are the same alphabet, so you might want to load a different alphabet from the default as your \mathscr. XITS Math and STIX Two Math, for example, provide one as a stylistic set.

\documentclass[varwidth, preview]{standalone}
\usepackage{unicode-math}

\defaultfontfeatures{ Scale=MatchLowercase, Ligatures = TeX }
\setmainfont{XITS}[Scale = 1.0]
\setmathfont{XITS Math}
\setmathfont[range={scr, bfscr}, StylisticSet=1]{XITS Math}

\begin{document}
$$\mathscr{r} \mathcal{r}$$
\end{document}