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I need to cite the journal "Sankhyā: The Indian Journal of Statistics" in a paper. I would like to draw the ā character properly (i.e., I'd prefer, if possible, to avoid using some hack, such as \bar or \overline).

Question: How do I properly write ā in LaTeX?

I didn't have luck with Detexify (after several attempts in both in capital and lowercase) nor The Comprehensive LATEX Symbol List (searching the file for "ā" and "india" revealed no hits).

2
  • 7
    See How to type special/accented letters in LaTeX?
    – Werner
    Mar 5, 2014 at 0:33
  • 3
    the information actually is in the comprehensive list, under "text-mode accents" (table 17, p.14). it does help, though, when using this list, to already be familiar with quite a bit of the terminology used. Mar 5, 2014 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

50

You can write the macron using \=<character>;

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\begin{document}

Sankhy\=a

\end{document}

enter image description here

Just for the record, here's a table I wrote some time ago, containing (I think) all the accents provided by LaTeX (the original names were in Spanish; I used the English names I found on the web, but let me know if there's any mistakes):

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[USenglish]{babel}
\usepackage{fourier}
\usepackage{booktabs}
\usepackage{listings}

\lstset{
basicstyle=\small\ttfamily}

\begin{document}

{
\renewcommand\arraystretch{1.3}
\noindent\begin{tabular}{@{}clcc@{}} 
    \toprule & &
    \multicolumn{2}{c@{}}{Example}\\ 
    \cmidrule(l){3-4}
    Definition &
    \multicolumn{1}{@{}c}{Description} &
    Input &
    Output \\
    \cmidrule(r){1-1}\cmidrule(r){2-2}\cmidrule(l){3-3}\cmidrule(l){4-4}
    \lstinline+\'{<character>}+ & acute accent & \lstinline+\'{a}+ & \'{a}\\
    \lstinline+\`{<character>}+ & grave accent & \lstinline+\`{a}+ & \`{a}\\
    \lstinline+\"{<character>}+ & umlaut or dieresis & \lstinline+\"{u}+ & \"{u}\\
    \lstinline+\c{<character>}+ & cedilla &\lstinline+\c{c}+ & \c{c}\\
    \lstinline+\={<character>}+ & macron & \lstinline+\={a}+ & \={a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\b{<character>}+ & bar under &\lstinline+\b{a}+ & \b{a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\u{<character>}+ & breve accent &\lstinline+\u{a}+ & \u{a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\v{<character>}+ & há\v{c}ek &\lstinline+\v{a}+ & \v{a}\\
    \lstinline+\~{<character>}+ & tilde & \lstinline+\~{n}+ & \~{n}\\
    \lstinline+\^{<character>}+ & circumflex accent & \lstinline+\^{o}+ & \^{o}\\ 
    \lstinline+\.{<character>}+ & dot accent &\lstinline+\.{a}+ & \.{a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\d{<character>}+ & dot-under accent &\lstinline+\d{a}+ & \d{a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\r{<character>}+ & ring &\lstinline+\r{a}+ & \r{a}\\
    \lstinline+\H{<character>}+ & long Hungarian umlaut &\lstinline+\H{a}+ & \H{a}\\
    \lstinline+\k{<character>}+ & ogonek &\lstinline+\k{a}+ & \k{a}\\ 
    \lstinline+\t{<character>}+ & tie-after accent &\lstinline+\t{oo}+ & \t{oo}\\ 
    \bottomrule
  \end{tabular}
  } 

\end{document}

enter image description here

As egreg mentions in his comment, Accents over the "i" deserve special mention: `i , \'i, \^i and \"i produce the desired accent, but \i must be used for the others, for instance \={\i} or \v{\i}.

Of course, some of the accents can be obtained loading the inputenc package and typing them directly from the keyboard.

Thanks to Mico for suggesting the addition of the ogonek.

10
  • 1
    Will the character be "selectable" in the pdf?
    – pluton
    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:40
  • 2
    @pluton some of them will, some won't. The first four tigether with the tilde, the circumflex and the ring will be "copyable" from the PDF; the others won't. Mar 5, 2014 at 2:02
  • 1
    Why is the ring uppercase?
    – Pål GD
    Mar 5, 2014 at 10:29
  • 1
    You might add that the common accents over “i” can be input as \`i, \'i, \^i and \"i, but \i must be used for the others (for instance \={\i}).
    – egreg
    Mar 5, 2014 at 16:50
  • 2
    I'd like to nominated the "ogonek" symbol, e.g., \k{a}, for inclusion in this fine table.
    – Mico
    Mar 5, 2014 at 20:45
5

Use the unicode character!

With pdflatex you then have to add \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} and \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}, with lualatex or xetex \usepackage{fontspec}. Your source file has to be encoded like this of course.

pdflatex

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\begin{document}
Sankhyā
\end{document}

xelatex or lualatex

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{fontspec}

\begin{document}
Sankhyā
\end{document}

Character input

There are several ways to directly input unicode characters that are not on your keyboard.

  • editors provide tools for it, e.g. with vim you can press ctrl + k and insert a key kombination, e.g. a* for α.

  • Compose Key. Most Unix Systems provide a Compose Key, that lets you input characters by pressing certain key combination if you press a special key. If you define Caps lock to be your compose key, you can type caps lock a - to get ā. Most of these combinations are rather intuitive, so you do not have to lokk them up. E.g. you get → by pressing compose - > or € by pressing compose C =.

  • enter unicode hex code, for windows press alt u and enter the unicode hex code, for e.g. ubuntu press ctrl alt u and enter the hex code. The unicode postion of ā is U+0101.

2
  • For Mac OS X (US Extended keyboard), ALT-a + letter: āēīōūȳs̄ḹṝḡ
    – egreg
    Feb 3, 2015 at 17:33
  • You have to be careful with Unicode. There are issues with ᾿ (Greek psili) that is turned into an accented ligature where it is not supposed to, e.g. Κατ᾿ ἐμαυτοῦ
    – sophros
    Dec 9, 2020 at 20:38

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