I've invented a custom symbol I wish to use in my LaTeX writings. It is a one, 1, overlapped with a tilde. This image shows what I want:

a digit '1' with overlapping wiggle

The actual symbol for the tilde is \sim. I have seen \rlap used to make characters overlap, as in


which creates Capital O and capital X overlapping; ugly vector space product

but when I try


I get an error complaining about a missing $. Duh. What is a valid way to get this one+tilde symbol?

I prefer to avoid any uncommon packages or anything quirky, so that the proper LaTeX way of doing this can be used for online markup, such as blogs, wikis, and Q&A forums, which may be using any version of LaTeX and may or may not have any particular desired package.

  • Note: the tag "overlays" is incorrect. I wanted to put "overlap" but don't have the right to do so yet. I don't know of any other relevant tags. – DarenW Oct 22 '16 at 23:18
  • 1
    Welcome to the site :) I've suggested a couple of tags that should work. Please be aware that our limited tag set is really by design, I think some kind of overlap tag would probably be much too narrow in my opinion. Others may disagree, but personally I think it's best to keep tags as broad indexes and I can't think of many questions that warrant an overlap tag (perhaps why we don't have one :P) – Au101 Oct 22 '16 at 23:27
  • 'kerning' perhaps? – DarenW Oct 22 '16 at 23:36
  • I don't know that it's 'kerning' as such, you could maybe tag it with positioning, but honestly, I wouldn't worry about over-tagging – Au101 Oct 22 '16 at 23:41
  • 1
    'wild and crazy kerning' then? Yeah, I'll leave the tagging to others... – DarenW Oct 23 '16 at 0:40

The following example overlays the two symbols:

  • The current math style is respected by implementing it via \mathpalette.

  • The 1 is horizontally centered.

  • The tilde is vertically centered.

  • The implementation does not need any additional packages.

Example file:


  \mathord{% or whatever
  % #1: math style
  % #2: unused
  \sbox0{$#1\sim\m@th$}% tilde
  \sbox2{$#11$}% for height of "1"
  \sbox4{$#1\vcenter{}$}% math axis, presumably the middle of "\sim"
  \rlap{% place "1"
    \hbox to\wd0{\hfil$#11\m@th$\hfil}%
  % place the tilde raised to the correct height
  \raise\dimexpr.5\ht2 - \ht4\relax\copy0 %

\[ 1 + {\sim} = \tildeone \]



Here are three solutions, based on \mathclap from \mathtools and \stackinset from stackengine:



 \[ \mathclap {1}\mathclap{\sim}\qquad \mathclap {1}\mathclap{\raisebox{0.1ex}{$ \sim $}}\qquad \stackinset{c}{0pt}{c}{-0.2ex}{$ \sim $}{$ 1 $} \]%


enter image description here

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