I'm using a math calligraphic font for some set U, and when I tried to state that X is an element of U $X\in\mathcal{U}$, I obtained a horrible result. Below is the code, with some other examples for comparison.

Let $\mathcal{U}$ be an nonprincipal ultrafilter. If
$X\in\mathcal{U}$, then $X$ is infinite.


$X\in\mathcal{U}$ &    \verb#$X\in\mathcal{U}$#  \\
$X\in U$ &    \verb#$X\in U$#  \\
$X + \mathcal{U}$ &   \verb#$X + \mathcal{U}$# \\
$X + U$ &   \verb#$X + U$#

example of X \in \mathcal{U}

So, there is too much space between X and \in and/or too little before \mathcal{U}. If you compare with the example of math italic U, there is a bit more of space after \in (and looks better).

Putting X or \mathcal{U}$ between braces doesn't seem to help.

  • 2
    The math italic U has sidebearings, whereas the calligraphic U hasn't them. If you deem the result is bad, type $X\in\,\mathcal{U}$
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 23:15
  • @egreg I didn't want to do it “by hand”, but if there is no other solution I'll do. Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 23:17
  • 4
    Sorry, but that's a font design decision; unless you choose another calligraphic font or prepare yourself a virtual font that adds sidebearings to the letters you need, there's not much to do. You may want to try eucal or calrsfs
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 26, 2016 at 23:22
  • Experiments have shown that \mathcal characters have sidebearrings, but they differ from regular italics and from each other. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 16:47
  • @egreg eucal has the same “problem” and calrsfs is way too slanted. I found that rsfso works fine for me. Thanks for the suggestion. Commented Jan 29, 2016 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


Not an answer, but a demonstration of italic and mathcal fonts.

  • I'd use also \setlength{\fboxrule}{.1pt}
    – Sigur
    Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 17:11
  • Useful, I was wondering how to do that. Commented Jan 27, 2016 at 17:43

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