I need to have a dash (or a bar) over a letter in a name, say G\=o ro for Goro, with one o "accented". The TeXBook tells me to do this: \=o for the dash over o. It does not seem to be working. I also tried \={o} which is on AMS website (since I am using AMSTeX), but it is not working either. I am puzzled, because other accents over letter seem to work.

Please note, the claim that the question has been answered before is incorrect, since the answers referred to concern Latex, not AMSTeX. See further discussion down below. Therefore, the problem has not been solved yet.

Minimal example

\input amstex


  • \={o} works find for me... but I suggest using unicode input encoding and writing ō directly
    – JJoao
    Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 18:28
  • are you really using ams-tex or ams-latex? please provide a brief example that demonstrates the problem -- since this accent code is the correct (if old) code that is known to work in text, in either ams-tex or ams-latex, you must be inputting something else that modifies the behavior, and you haven't told us what it is. (by the way, welcome to tex.sx.) Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 18:53
  • Are you using it in a tabbing-like environment which redefines \= (in which case you need to use \a={o}, if I recall correctly)? Commented Nov 17, 2015 at 20:01
  • I now figured out where the problem lies, but not how to overcome it.
    – Rado
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:52
  • If. I process the file containing my reference name Gor\=o by clicking the AMSTeX button on my Texshell menu (remember that version of TeX with the picture of shell as its icon). It gives me "undefined command" message... Now when I isolate this into a separate file and process using the TeX button, it works perfectly fine My main file (about 300 pages long) is typeset with AMSTeX with \documentstyle{amsppt} and when I try to process it with just clicking TeX (instead of AMSTeX) it gives me all the complaints like not recognizing \roster \endroster, and all.
    – Rado
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


The amstex format redefines a couple of accents from Plain TeX syntax. Specifically, \= becomes \B and \. becomes \D.

Here's the fixed minimal example together with the other accents:

\input amstex

\B{o} \`o \'o \~o \^o \D{o}


enter image description here

  • YEEEEEEEIII !!!!! It works like a charm! Thanks @egreg for the detective work nicely done. I am penciling these into my TeX book for future reference. If I knew how to do it, I would give your answer a medal
    – Rado
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 18:30
  • since you seem to be such an AMSTeXPert, perhaps you can try your hand at another AMSTeX question that I asked. here it is tex.stackexchange.com/questions/277872/…
    – Rado
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 18:43
  • @Rado Sorry, but the code in that question is rather messy and I don't have AMS-TeX manuals available any more.
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 18:45
  • :( OK, that mystery will remain unsolved then
    – Rado
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 19:04
  • @Rado: Why didn't you notify me that my answer doesn't work for you? It worked fine for me (after I added the missing \document) and I will add some images as proof. Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 19:08

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