# Arrow between parts of equation in LaTeX

I want to make an arrow under an equation pointing from one part of the equation to another. A bit like an underbrace, but with an arrow. How can I do this?

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• Could you clarify whether you want the arrow to point to specific parts of the equation or not. – Loop Space Nov 11 '11 at 8:09
• Should the arrow be straight or curved? – Gonzalo Medina Nov 11 '11 at 14:48

Using TikZ, you can place a node for the starting point of the arrow and another one for the ending point, and then join the nodes using the kind of arrow that you desire; a little example, using a curved red arrow and some code to place the nodes borrowed from this answer by Andrew Stacey:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{tikz}
\usetikzlibrary{calc}

\newcommand{\tikzmark}[1]{\tikz[overlay,remember picture] \node (#1) {};}

\begin{document}

$$a\tikzmark{a}x^2 + bx + c = 5\tikzmark{b}x^2 + bx + c. \begin{tikzpicture}[overlay,remember picture,out=315,in=225,distance=0.4cm] \draw[->,red,shorten >=3pt,shorten <=3pt] (a.center) to (b.center); \end{tikzpicture}$$

\end{document}


• Can this be improved to enable similar arrows that appear on the top as well? – Greg Mattes Feb 13 '18 at 22:19

Try this one:

\underrightarrow{y = ax^2 + bx + c}

It will look like this:

The document mathmode has the sections Over- and underbrackets and Extensible arrows

If you want to define your own style please have a look into the the linked document. An example of the document is shown below.

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage{amsmath}
\makeatletter
\def\mapstofill@{%
\arrowfill@{\mapstochar\relbar}\relbar\rightarrow}
\newcommand*\xmapsto[2][]{%
\ext@arrow0099\mapstofill@{#1}{\displaystyle#2}}
\makeatother
\begin{document}

$\underrightarrow{y = ax^2 + bx + c}$

$\xmapsto{y = ax^2 + bx + c}$
\end{document}