We know that \qquad equals \quad\quad, then is there a way to define a command like \myquad{5} to produce five \quad?

I think there are two way:

  1. get the length of \quad, then \newcommand{\myquad}[1]{\hspace{#1*lengthofquad}}

  2. define a function and load it recursively, but I don't know how to do this.


\quad sets a length of 1em, with multiples X of it being of length Xem. So we can define \myquad[<num>] with <num> being optional (default of 1), to produce a space of <num>em:

enter image description here




x \quad x \par
x \myquad[1] x

x \quad\quad\qquad x \par
x \myquad[4] x

x \qquad\qquad\qquad\qquad\qquad x \par
x \myquad[10] x


We use \hspace* to insert a space regardless of whether you're at the start, middle or end of a rule.

  • works like a charm!! – user19832 Sep 21 '16 at 3:36
  • 4
    note that this freezes the meaning to the length of 1em in the preamble. so \myquad unlike \quad will not depend on the current font, I think not having the \setlength and then \newcommand{\myquad}[1][1]{\hspace*{#1em}\ignorespaces} gives a more natural interpretation. (@user19832) – David Carlisle Sep 21 '16 at 7:58
  • @DavidCarlisle: True. Thanks, I've updated my answer to reflect this. – Werner Sep 21 '16 at 10:02

Here is version using a loop:

\newcommand\Quad[1][1]{\foreach \Quaddy in {1,...,#1}{\quad}\ignorespaces}


  x \quad x \par
  x \Quad[1] x

  x \quad\quad\qquad x \par
  x \Quad[4] x

  x \qquad\qquad\qquad\qquad\qquad x \par
  x \Quad[10] x


with output:

enter image description here

Personally, I prefer the more direct approach in Werner's answer.

  • I try to use tlmgr install pgffor but not found, do you mean pgf instead? – user19832 Sep 21 '16 at 3:22
  • @user19832 Good point, I should have mentioned this. Thepgffor package is part of the bigger pgf package that allows you to use the for-loops from pgf without pulling in all of the pgf package, which is quite large. If you use tlmgr to install pgf then, I believe, you will also get the package pgffor.sty but you can instead just use \usepackage{pgf} in the MWE above. – Andrew Sep 21 '16 at 6:03

You can look up how \quad and \qquad are defined, either in the LaTeX source or by asking LaTeX itself:

This is pdfTeX, Version 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015/Debian) (preloaded format=latex)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2016/02/01>
Babel <3.9q> and hyphenation patterns for 81 language(s) loaded.
> \quad=macro:
->\hskip 1em\relax .


> \qquad=macro:
->\hskip 2em\relax .


! Emergency stop.

No pages of output.
Transcript written on texput.log.

In many cases this will place you in a maze of twisty commands, all subtly different, but here it's pretty straightforward. A quad is a horizontal space of 1em (the nominal width of a capital M in the current font).

\newcommand{\myquad}[1]{\hskip #1 em\relax}

or in a more LaTeXish way

\newcommand{\myquad}[1]{\hspace{#1 em}}

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