When I type * or \ast in LaTeX, it looks like this:

enter image description here

When I see other papers involving "Kleene closure", the asterisk looks like:

enter image description here

How do I obtain the second symbol? Searching for "Kleene star" or "Kleene closure" didn't yield any results.


The \ast symbol is overridden by the mnsymbol library. How can I tell it to use the default symbol but still keep the rest of the package for its other symbols?

  • Usually you get the second symbol by \ast. What else you are loading? – user11232 Sep 24 '15 at 3:18
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    Welcome to TeX.SX! The one you see really isn't the default. I think the default is the one you want. You must be using a different font or something like that, we really need to see what your set up is to be able to help you. Could you provide a really simple Minimal Working Example (MWE) meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/228/… – Au101 Sep 24 '15 at 3:18
  • Also check out \textasteriskcentered; then check out (it's on CTAN) The Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List. – jon Sep 24 '15 at 3:21
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    Your \ast is from the mnsymbol package. – John Kormylo Sep 24 '15 at 3:32
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    @ChaseMeadors You have discovered why I usually discourage from loading MnSymbol just because it has more symbols available: it changes all of them! If your text font has a six pointed asterisk, it makes no sense at all that the math one is five pointed. See Importing a single symbol from a different font and several other threads on the subject. In other words, you're asking the wrong question: the real one is “how can I import (list of symbols) from MnSymbol?” – egreg Sep 24 '15 at 7:32

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