I want to use symbols from the phaistos package as "numbers"

This means that I want to type something like:




\lo + \loo

and have it come out looking semi-decent. Since the symbols in this package are large text symbols, they do no go below the bottom line that text is sitting on. To make the math look correct, they would need to go below the line. I think if I made them large math symbols, this would center them the way I want.

Thoughts on a good way to do this?

  • 2
    FYI - let me tell you what I'm doing. I writing an activity for future teachers. I'm going to give my students addition and multiplication tables for F_9. However the symbols used in this table are going to be strange glyphs - not numbers. Then I ask them algebra questions. Since no "numbers" are being used, the student must truly use the laws of algebra, along with the tables to solve the problems. I suppose that if you could suggest another package that provided 12ish neat symbols (not boring ones!) I could use that instead of phaistos.
    – Bart Snapp
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 16:52

4 Answers 4


This way does automatic centering...


You could use the command \raisebox with negative height to lower your symbols:

\lo + \loo = ?


alt text

Alternatively, you could use an array or a tabular environment to achieve vertical centering:


Here I used tabular because those symbols require text mode, otherwise I would prefer array. The @{} suppress the tabular resp. array intercolumn space, that's why the I used the @{}c@{} column options.

  • I like it. Thanks! Why did you put a * after the \newcommand?
    – Bart Snapp
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 17:11
  • @Bart: see “What's the difference between \newcommand and \newcommand*?”.
    – Caramdir
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 17:20
  • 1
    Isn't there some way to center the symbols around math axis, like TeX does with operators? Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 17:27
  • I'd like to know this... I'll change the "answered" status if someone can give me this!
    – Bart Snapp
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 18:20
  • 3
    Why not use \vcenter?
    – TH.
    Commented Aug 30, 2010 at 19:33

Perhaps you can take the + and = signs from the cow font. They are part of ConTeXt minimals(but not TL, as far as I could tell).


I don't know the phaistos package, but maybe defining the following can help


where you replace ... by the relevant \PH... symbols. Then you can use \PHsymb{0} for \PHbee, etc. No need to remember what is what.

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