I am writing a document where I need to describe the behaviour of a given system when a parameter is in a given range (e.g. 1 <= x < 100). The document does not otherwise contain equations or any math stuff. I am using the Source Sans Pro font from Adobe and I am having trouble with the <= and < symbols.

  • If I use $\leq$ for the <= symbol, it looks different than the rest of the text, but more specifically, quite different than the < symbol
  • If I use $\leq$ and $<$, then they look 'similar' but the baselines don't seem to be aligned (and anyway they look different from the rest of the text)

Here's an image showing both options:

enter image description here

Is there a way to typeset the <= symbol using the same font as the rest of the document? Failing that, is there a way to have the baselines of the <= and < symbols aligned?

Update: I am using pdflatex. Here's a MWE:




1 $\leq$ abs(x) < 100

1 $\leq$ abs(x) $<$ 100

  • 1
    Show a complete example so that we don't have to guess your engine and the font you use. – Ulrike Fischer Feb 2 '17 at 14:29
  • 2
    in traditional mathematical composition, signs of operation and relation are aligned on a "math axis", which runs along their centerline. "baseline" alignment is not traditional. – barbara beeton Feb 2 '17 at 14:38
  • @UlrikeFischer You are right, I did not specify the engine. As for the font, it is clearly stated in the question: Source Sans Pro from Adobe. – Grodriguez Feb 2 '17 at 14:39
  • @barbarabeeton I know, but that does not solve my problem. This doc hardly contains any math and the standard "math axis" alignment looks weird here. – Grodriguez Feb 2 '17 at 14:43
  • If you want to avoid maths, why don't you just write it in words: when the absolute value of $x$ is 1 or more, but less than 100. – Thruston Feb 2 '17 at 14:52

With lualatex/xelatex using the glyph from SourceSansPro is easy:

\DeclareTextSymbol{\textlessthanequal}       \UnicodeEncodingName{"2264}
1 ^^^^2264 x < 2

1 ≤  x < 2 

1 \textlessthanequal{} x < 2

enter image description here

With pdflatex it is more difficult. This here is a hack to avoid to have to do much work. It assumes that less equal as the same width as less.

  1. Find SourceSansPro-Regular-lf-t1--base.tfm (in fonts/tfm)
  2. Copy it e.g. to your current folder.
  3. Rename the copy to XSourceSansPro-Regular-lf-t1--base.tfm
  4. Find a_ggs4wk.enc (in fonts/enc)
  5. Copy it.
  6. Rename the copy to Xa_ggs4wk.enc
  7. Open Xa_ggs4wk.enc
  8. Change the line /AutoEnc_ggs4wkuzes44fkerkgtyzffacb [ to /XAutoEnc_ggs4wkuzes44fkerkgtyzffacb [
  9. Find in the file /less and change it to /lessequal
  10. Save the file.
  11. Test if it works with this document:

    \pdfmapline{=XSourceSansPro-Regular-lf-t1--base XSourceSansPro-Regular "XAutoEnc_ggs4wkuzes44fkerkgtyzffacb ReEncodeFont" <[Xa_ggs4wk.enc <SourceSansPro-Regular.pfb}
     { <->  XSourceSansPro-Regular-lf-t1--base
    \newcommand\textlessequal{{\fontencoding{U}\fontfamily{xsourcesans}\selectfont <}}
    1 \textlessequal{} abs(x) < 100

enter image description here

In both cases the less sign is not aligned along the baseline of the less equal sign. You can do it with your raisebox command, but imho it will look odd.

  • I guess luatex / xelatex are worth having a look. I will need to try and see how difficult it is to migrate from pdflatex to one of these.. – Grodriguez Feb 2 '17 at 15:39
  • 1
    \textlessequal and \textgreaterequal should have found their place in TS1. – egreg Feb 2 '17 at 15:57

Or you could load MnSymbol option with mathspec. It does not give you the same symbol, but it looks better.




% !TeX program = xelatex

{ Ligatures      = TeX ,
    Numbers        = Proportional ,
    Extension      = .otf ,
    UprightFont    = *-Regular ,
    ItalicFont     = *-RegularIt ,
    BoldFont       = *-Bold , 
    BoldItalicFont = *-BoldIt }


    1 $\leq$ abs(x) < 100

    1 $\leq$ abs(x) $<$ 100


  • The question specifically says I am using pdflatex – Grodriguez Feb 4 '17 at 11:32

This fixes the baseline as I needed:

1 $\leq$ abs(x) \raisebox{1pt}{$<$} 100


enter image description here

  • Did you try \textless instead of $<$? – Mico Feb 2 '17 at 15:50
  • Yes, but \textless gives the same result than just < – Grodriguez Feb 2 '17 at 16:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.