125

I want to represent, say, the closure of a set or the extended reals, e.g., $\bar{\mathbb{R}}$ but unfortunately this creates a bar that is much too small (horizontally) and can barely be seen. On the other hand, $\overline{\mathbb{R}}$ creates a line that is too long. I need something that's just right, in between the bar and the overline. What would be my best choice?

70

Here is a command \xoverline[width percent]{symb} that will do it. Note that it will not scale inside sub or superscripts. If you need that, everthing has to go through a \mathchoice resulting in a lot more complex code.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath,amssymb}
\makeatletter
\newsavebox\myboxA
\newsavebox\myboxB
\newlength\mylenA

\newcommand*\xoverline[2][0.75]{%
    \sbox{\myboxA}{$\m@th#2$}%
    \setbox\myboxB\null% Phantom box
    \ht\myboxB=\ht\myboxA%
    \dp\myboxB=\dp\myboxA%
    \wd\myboxB=#1\wd\myboxA% Scale phantom
    \sbox\myboxB{$\m@th\overline{\copy\myboxB}$}%  Overlined phantom
    \setlength\mylenA{\the\wd\myboxA}%   calc width diff
    \addtolength\mylenA{-\the\wd\myboxB}%
    \ifdim\wd\myboxB<\wd\myboxA%
       \rlap{\hskip 0.5\mylenA\usebox\myboxB}{\usebox\myboxA}%
    \else
        \hskip -0.5\mylenA\rlap{\usebox\myboxA}{\hskip 0.5\mylenA\usebox\myboxB}%
    \fi}
\makeatother
\begin{document}

$|\xoverline{W}|~~
 |\xoverline{i}|~~
 |\xoverline[3.0]{i}|$

\bigskip

$\bar{\mathbb{R}}~~\overline{\mathbb{R}}~~\xoverline{\mathbb{R}}$

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • 11
    Someone should do the \mathchoice thing and package this into a package! – Mariano Suárez-Álvarez Jun 27 '14 at 5:38
92

I usually define a command \overbar, which reduced the width of \overline by 1.5mu on each side.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{amsfonts}

\newcommand{\overbar}[1]{\mkern 1.5mu\overline{\mkern-1.5mu#1\mkern-1.5mu}\mkern 1.5mu}

\begin{document}
$\bar{\mathbb{R}}$ $\overbar{\mathbb{R}}$ $\overline{\mathbb{R}}$
\end{document}

Output

  • 1
    Would this solution have the same issues regarding subscripts/superscripts as described in Danie's solution? – Tony Mottaz Jan 24 '16 at 21:48
  • 1
    @Anthony I believe not, it doesn’t go out of math mode and thus stays in the style it was invoked in. – Alex Shpilkin Aug 1 '16 at 21:33
  • Great command, makes the bar look identical to an excerpt from Understanding Analysis by Stephen Abbott (although \overline might still be a good alternative). – Joshua Detwiler Oct 12 '17 at 20:26

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