I'm creating a CV, and when I tried to use a custom label for different list environments I had trouble matching the label to the default one created by the itemize environment. So I'm wondering what the default label style is for at least the outermost entry of itemize.

Here is a MWE (correct initialism use? Also minimal might be relative):

\address{City, State ZIPNUM}{}

\section{list item}
\cvitem{sublist item}{
\item [\color{color1}$\circ$] This is using $\backslash$circ
\item [\color{color1}\boldsymbol{$\circ$}] This is using $\backslash$boldsymbol$\backslash$circ
\item [\color{color1}\bm{$\circ$}] This is using $\backslash$bm$\backslash$circ
\item This is a regular item
\item [\large\color{color1}\boldsymbol{$\circ$}] This is using $\backslash$large$\backslash$boldsymbol$\backslash$circ

Image example of label styles

The default (regular) one seems to be bolder than when only using \circ. \boldsymbol seems good, until I zoom in, then it looks less circular than the default (which could be a problem with mine and others eyesight).

So can someone let me know what the default is? Or redirect me to a stackexchange discussion about it?


We can use TeX's \show command to inspect the definition of a macro. So we check the definition of \item which (after some expansions) leads us to \labelitemi, the label for first order items in an itemize:

> \labelitemi=macro:
->\strut \textcolor {color1}{\marvosymbol {123}}.

And indeed

\cvitem{sublist item}{
    \item = \textcolor {color1}{\marvosymbol {123}}


enter image description here

EDIT: moderncv loads its default symbols from a file moderncviconsawesome.sty. There we find the definition


This font (which requires the fontawesome package) is only loaded when compiled with xelatex or lualatex. With latex or pdflatex the symbol font switches to marvosym, which gives the result shown above.

  • Are you sure it isn't loaded when compiling with (pdf)latex? It has been some time since the fontawesome package (and fonts) can be used with (pdf)latex.
    – Bernard
    Oct 21 '16 at 9:16
  • @Bernard You're right, the package documentation says the same. Looks like I haven't updated my packages for some time :)
    – siracusa
    Oct 21 '16 at 9:35
  • The marvosym worked. I greatly appreciate your answer! I feel like \show is the equivalent to define, def, help, or ? in other programs, so I'm sorry if it was something every latex user should know before asking a question here. I'll definitely now be testing it out! (: Oct 21 '16 at 9:39
  • @siracusa the above comment was meant to reach you. Oct 21 '16 at 9:43
  • @ChristinaTran I don't think this command is used very often by the normal LaTeX user, it's more one of TeX's low-level debugging commands. You find more of these commands explained in TeX by Topic.
    – siracusa
    Oct 21 '16 at 9:54

Here is


\item[\textcolor{mycolor}{\tiny\faicon{circle-o}}] This is using 

Note mycolor is defined by moderncv (blue theme color) as color1.

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