I need to draw symbols of alchemical processes in a LaTeX document: in particular, I'm interested in the process of "amalgamation", depicted here at page 15:

enter image description here

I'm open to any suggestion, even something like "draw it on your own!", just teach me how.

Keep in mind that the general look of the symbol(s) should match well with the "classical" lmodern font in a "classical" LaTeX page (containing also some mathematics).

  • You could certainly use TikZ, but since you want it to match the font, maybe metafont and looking at the sources of cmr might be a good idea. But this might (or not?) be overkill. Unfortunately, i don't have any experience with font making.
    – Johannes_B
    May 2, 2015 at 13:17
  • 1
    It doesn't seem to be here: fontspace.com/unicode/block/Alchemical+Symbols - but some of those might be combined to make it. May 2, 2015 at 13:23
  • Yes, it's extremely similar to U+1F741; but I'm not even able to tell LaTeX to draw it, I never had the chance to learn how it's done
    – fosco
    May 2, 2015 at 13:25
  • It's hard for me to believe that at least the symbol I want is not present in the "comprehensive list", maybe filed under a different name. Any help is appreciated
    – fosco
    May 2, 2015 at 13:30
  • How many symbols? Should they look like a 'font', or like a drawn symbol? If the former, then find a font, if the latter, consider drawing them and converting them using potrace; here's an answer that used the program to convert a signature into an image that you can then include in the document.
    – jon
    May 2, 2015 at 14:59

4 Answers 4


There is (at least) one free true type font, named Alchemy that has this symbol. It's available from here for instance. Demo, with Xe/LuaLaTeX:

\documentclass[12pt, a4paper]{article}


The \emph{amalgamation} or \emph{conjunction} symbol:


enter image description here

  • That looks like the one in the image (and the pdf does use Alchemy as well as alchemy A,B,C) so +1 (but I'll leave my answer for links to the other fonts used in that document) May 2, 2015 at 16:28
  • 1
    I accepted your answer as it is absolutely spot-on, and nevertheless I decided to draw the symbol with a little of TiKz-sorcery (...or alchemy?) on my own.
    – fosco
    May 2, 2015 at 18:10
  • Perhaps metafont/metapost would be more appropriate?
    – Bernard
    May 2, 2015 at 18:15

That pdf uses fonts Alchemy, Alchemy A, Alchemy B , Alchemy C which google suggests are available from several places (not for free) eg



For the sake of completeness I explain what I decided to do: I drew a symbol in TIkZ:

   \begin{tikzpicture}[inner sep=-.7pt,outer sep=0pt]
      \node (0,0) (cup) {\tiny $\boldsymbol \cup$};
      \node[yshift=-3] (0,0) (pm) {\tiny $\textbf{\textdoublebarpipevar}$};
   \hspace{1mm}   }

This is the result:

enter image description here

Not the most elegant choice, but I think the overall look fits well with the text. Thanks a lot for your help, though!


Edit: I followed the advice of the comment below, and defined

        \raisebox{-1.4pt}[0pt][0pt]{\scalebox{.9}{\boldmath\tiny $\cup$}} \\ 
  • 3
    Better a compilable snippet (for instance, your command needs MnSymbol if I'm not mistaken). In any case, TikZ is not necessary, you could just use graphicx with \raisebox or even some TeX primitives.
    – Manuel
    May 4, 2015 at 22:05
  • 1
    I followed your advice; could you tell me how to improve it?
    – fosco
    Jul 4, 2015 at 16:10

You can find the font or create one (FontForge on Linux, you are on your own with other packages). I don't know what interface you use to TeX (I use LyX), but check out the FontAwesome package for how that package let's you easily add specific symbols from the font into your TeX document. Fontawesome is a symbol font ... you will be basically using the same code, but switching the font it uses to a replacement - either one of the ones someone mentioned above, or to one you design (or modify) with a font editor such as FontForge.

The other way is just to download the images at as a high a resolution as you can find and insert them into your document as graphics.

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