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I have read on several occasions that there are differences between the multitude of dots commands that TeX and amsmath offer. However, I am not sure up to this day when to use which, and how critical it really is whether I use the correct one or not.

The document mathmode by Herbert Voss points out:

It is not easy to see the differences between some of them.

That obviously does not help me any further.

Could you provide some explanation for each of the commands, and in which context to use them for the rest of us? Further, some example explaining how big the difference between the commands really is would be great.

marked as duplicate by Andrew Swann, Svend Tveskæg, Masroor, Mico, barbara beeton Jan 18 '15 at 15:25

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