I'm trying to write an algorithm in a simple list format in latex.

In the first point, I need an 'alpha' symbol followed by a subscript 'out'.

This is what I did, but it doesn't seem to like it and throws several errors as well as giving strange outputs.

                \item A maximum probability \textalpha _{out} for removal is pre-specified,
                \item Step 2...,
                \item Step 3...,
                \item Step 4...,

Before posting this, I also tried the {textgreek} package described here, but that didn't seem to work either. I must be doing something wrong.

Is there an easy solution to implementing a list that contains special characters?

Thanks in advance.

  • 1
    Try \textsubscript{out} instead of _ – Uwe Ziegenhagen Mar 14 '14 at 0:31
  • 1
    That solves the issue with the subscript. Thanks for posting. – Reanimation Mar 14 '14 at 0:34
  • 1
    @Reanimation so, Uwe's comment solved you problem or there's still something not solved? – Gonzalo Medina Mar 14 '14 at 1:07
  • Please complete your code i.e. make it so it compiles by adding \documentclass... etc. This makes it easier to help and ensures that your question is useful to others. Note that the uninitiated may well be unable to fill in the gaps. For example, I don't know how to make your code compile. I got past the first error by adding enumitem but I've no idea about the second. So if I wanted to achieve the same effect, this question would be useless to me because it omits essential pieces of the puzzle. – cfr Mar 14 '14 at 1:56
  • Ok, I'll update my code in a sec. Yes there is still an issue with the alpha sign. Thanks for posting. – Reanimation Mar 14 '14 at 2:11

For the alpha why not just use $\alpha_{out}$, or $\alpha_{\mbox{out}}$ or $\alpha_{\text{out}}$ or...

  • Ah nice! Problem solved. Thanks for posting. $\alpha_{out}$ works great. – Reanimation Mar 14 '14 at 2:36
  • 1
    It seem more appropriate to use $\alpha_{\text{out}}$ (with the inclusion of \usepackage{amsmath} in your preamble). – Werner Mar 14 '14 at 5:15

Using textgreek is fine to have greek letter in text mode is you have an updated installation with this package installed. Other options are use inputenc to use the unicode character or even babel. See also the packages upgreek and textgreek. For the subscript you can use \textsubscript as commented, using fixltx2e, or a \raisebox without additional packages, or in math mode _{\text{}} with the amsmath package as Werner said, or _{\textrm{}} with the amstext package. Example:


\usepackage[greek,english]{babel}  % for 1st solution, no math mode
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}        % for 2nd solution, no math mode
\usepackage{fixltx2e, textgreek}   % for 3rd solution, no math mode
\usepackage{amstext,upgreek}       % for 4th solution, math mode
\usepackage{amstext,txfonts}       % for 5th solution, "fake" text mode
\def\alphaout{\ensuremath\alphaup\raisebox{-.3ex}{\scriptsize out}}


{\greektext a}\raisebox{-.3ex}{\scriptsize out}  

α\raisebox{-.3ex}{\scriptsize out} 




  • Hello @Fran. Is there a simple way to obtain greek alphabet? I tried with \begin{enumerate}[label=\alph*], but it give me the classic alphabet: a, b, c... – Gennaro Arguzzi Feb 11 '18 at 12:05
  • 1
    @GennaroArguzzi Try with \begin{enumerate}[label=\selectlanguage{greek}\alph*] (of course with babel loaded as in the MWE and enumitem package). – Fran Feb 11 '18 at 21:59
  • I tried your solution and the statement \usepackage[italian,greek]{babel} transforms also italian letters in greek leters. How can I select italian language for the text? – Gennaro Arguzzi Feb 12 '18 at 8:44
  • 1
    Try greek, italian instead of italian,greek – Fran Feb 12 '18 at 18:26

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