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. – Andrew Stacey 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:


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


  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);


enter image description here

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  • 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:


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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.



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

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

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