I just want to place a tilde over $\mathcal{W}$, and $\tilde\mathcal{W}$ is too small while $\widetilde{\mathcal{W}}$ is too big.

Is there a simple way to produce an in-between?


It's a bit hacky, but does


(which gives mathcal W with overset sim) do what you're after?


An alternative with adjustable height is


where you can change 1.1ex to whatever you like.

Note, however, that in this implementation the tilde height is entirely independent of the size of the original W, so you may need to define several versions if you want to do this to lots of different letters.

  • That's much better. Can one lower the tilde with \raisebox or the like? – Glen Wheeler Aug 4 '11 at 10:29
  • 1
    Following @HendrikVogt at tex.stackexchange.com/q/12579/6984 : \newcommand\simcal[1]{\stackrel{\sim}{\smash{\mathcal{#1}}\rule{0pt}{1.1ex}}} lets you write $\simcal{W}$ or whatever, and you can adjust the 1.1ex to suit your spacing preferences. – Ant Aug 4 '11 at 11:08
  • PS - a meta-comment: anyone know how I can get the @ syntax to work with Hendrik's username above? Ta. – Ant Aug 4 '11 at 11:09
  • On second thoughts, \newcommand\Wtilde{\stackrel{\sim}{\smash{\mathcal{W}}\rule{0pt}{1.1ex}}} is better. In this implementation the spacing is entirely independent of the size of the original letter, so making the letter an argument is not a brilliant idea. – Ant Aug 4 '11 at 11:15
  • This is much better (the comments version), could you add it to the answer? It is also much simpler than the (otherwise excellent) suggestion of Leo Liu. – Glen Wheeler Aug 17 '11 at 14:42

Follow Ant's solution:


$\tilde W \widetilde W$

$\accentset{\sim}{W} \accentset{\textstyle\sim}{W}$


That's not very good. For more complicated solution, see How can I manually choose the size of a wide accent? (math mode)

  • Could you elaborate on what's "not very good" about this solution? It actually looks quite nice to me. – jhin May 5 '20 at 15:16

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