I need to generate following notation in LaTeX.

It's used in differential geometry to denote vector fields.

I can't find documentation and detexify is not helpful either.

enter image description here

  • 2
    MnSymbol provides \vertbowtie...
    – Werner
    Sep 9, 2013 at 18:24
  • Try also \newcommand{\vectfield}{\mathrel{\text{\scalebox{0.85}{\rotatebox[origin=c]{90}{$\vartriangleright\mkern-4mu\vartriangleleft$}}}}}. Requires graphicx, amsmath and amssymb. Adjust 0.85 to your needs. Sep 9, 2013 at 19:09
  • @Werner -- not a duplicate, i think, since it's not in detexify. but the cited question could have material added to offer a few more strategies for searching, e.g., in the comprehensive symbols list, for example, looking for a rotated or mirrored version by name (helps if the name is known). i also note that unicode has this symbol (U+29D6) identified as "hourglass", but that name isn't in either detexify or the comprehensive list; should be in the stix fonts (though the general documentation hasn't caught up). Sep 9, 2013 at 19:16
  • @barbarabeeton: It's in the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List, hence my vote-to-close.
    – Werner
    Sep 9, 2013 at 19:17
  • 1
    @barbarabeeton: That's an often-debated concern that I have, similar to the question about using a dictionary for spelling purposes; if you want to look up/knkow the spelling of a word, you need to know how to spell it to find it. Hmmm. I guess some suggestions to search strategies might help (and perhaps also reference this post).
    – Werner
    Sep 9, 2013 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


(As Werner pointed out before me) It's in the MnSymbol package as \vertbowtie. And as Torbjorn T. pointed out, one does not, in general, want to get all the MnSymbols loaded, as they overwrite a lot of default stuff. Using the pointer that Torbjorn provided (Importing single symbol from MnSymbol), I was able to look at MnSymbol.dtx on CTAN (http://mirrors.ctan.org/fonts/mnsymbol/tex/MnSymbol.dtx) to find that \vertbowtie was defined as

\Decl@Mn@Char\vertbowtie             {MnSyC}{\mathbin}

I was also able to use the fonttable package to display the MnSymbolC font table to determine that the \vertbowtie was symbol 39. And armed with that information, I was able to extract just that symbol as follows:


\DeclareFontFamily{U} {MnSymbolC}{}

  <-6> MnSymbolC5
  <6-7> MnSymbolC6
  <7-8> MnSymbolC7
  <8-9> MnSymbolC8
  <9-10> MnSymbolC9
  <10-12> MnSymbolC10
  <12-> MnSymbolC12}{}
  <-6> MnSymbolC-Bold5
  <6-7> MnSymbolC-Bold6
  <7-8> MnSymbolC-Bold7
  <8-9> MnSymbolC-Bold8
  <9-10> MnSymbolC-Bold9
  <10-12> MnSymbolC-Bold10
  <12-> MnSymbolC-Bold12}{}

\DeclareSymbolFont{MnSyC} {U} {MnSymbolC}{m}{n}
%\Decl@Mn@Char\vertbowtie             {MnSyC}{\mathbin}

$a \vertbowtie b$

enter image description here

For those of us who don't breathe LaTeX fonts, several points were necessary for me to grok, that were not made clear at Importing single symbol from MnSymbol.

1) The \DeclareSymbolFont macro had to come before the \DeclareMathSymbol, so that the name MnSyC was recognized.

2) The name \mathbin in the \DeclareMathSymbol macro must match the last argument of \Decl@Mn@Char, as found in the font's sty/dtx file.

3) The macro \Decl@Mn@Char is not part of the solution, but rather one must find it in the dtx file in order to obtain the font family (MnSyC) and the "category" (\mathbin). [sorry for the use of imprecise terminology...I'm sure these things have official names].

Of course, no Segletes solution would be complete without an alternate stackengine solution:

    \stackon[0pt]{\sffamily x}{\rule{1ex}{.1ex}}}{\rule{1ex}{.1ex}}}}
\parskip 1em
\(  a \myvertbowtie b \)

enter image description here

  • 1
    With regard to MnSymbol it should be noted that it will change a lot (all?) of the various mathematical symbols. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/36006/… and linked questions, that deal with using just a single symbol from such a package. Sep 9, 2013 at 18:53
  • @TorbjørnT. Thanks for the pointer. I hopefully used it to provide more value to my solution. Sep 9, 2013 at 20:47

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