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I need to write this:

Special L character

How do one produce the special L character. I've search the web, be simply can't find anyone asking a similar question.

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2 Answers 2

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As said in the comments, I’d suggest to define a command for this. That way it is easy to change the appearance later (macro name taken from Joseph …).

\documentclass{article}

\newcommand\laevo{\textsc{l}}

\begin{document}
poly-\laevo-lysine
\end{document}

If the font doesn’t have small caps (and only then) one might use a scaled upper case L (using \scalebox from graphicx.sty):

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{graphicx}
\newcommand\laevo{\scalebox{0.75}{L}}

\begin{document}
poly-\laevo-lysine
\end{document}
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It just looks to me like a smallcaps L. \textsc{l} should do it!

\documentclass{article}

\begin{document}
poly-\textsc{l}-lysine
\end{document}

One of the difficulties in starting off with *TeX is just learning what some of its features are called. It's a big world, so plan at least 30 minutes or so sometime soon just to read through a *TeX introduction; it just makes this whole thing that much more fun!

Edit: Make sure to check out Tobi's helpful clarification on fonts without small caps below!

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  • 1
    Note that not all fonts have small caps! In that case (and only in that case) \scalebox{0.8}{L} (needs graphicx.sty) might help. Anyway it would be a good idea to define macro for that, e.g. \newcommand\smallL{\textsc{l}} and then poly-\smallL-lysine.
    – Tobi
    Jul 2, 2016 at 15:28
  • Good point, thanks! Based on the question I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed OP would be using the default font.
    – Richard
    Jul 2, 2016 at 15:35
  • Your welcome! I guess the OP uses a standard font, but it’s worth mentioning it. You may add this (and the definition of a command) to you answer ;-)
    – Tobi
    Jul 2, 2016 at 15:43
  • Richard, Perfect. Thank you, that solved my issue
    – J. Doe
    Jul 2, 2016 at 15:55
  • @J.Doe, glad to hear it! And Tobi, thanks, but I won't steal your spotlight on a very helpful additon. (And it's good to see another musician on here!)
    – Richard
    Jul 2, 2016 at 16:00

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