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?


2 Answers 2


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? Aug 4, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 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, 2011 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. Aug 17, 2011 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)

  • 1
    Could you elaborate on what's "not very good" about this solution? It actually looks quite nice to me.
    – Eike P.
    May 5, 2020 at 15:16

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