# Is there a wider equal sign?

I have defined the equal by definition sign:

with this code: \newcommand{\eqdef}{\overset{def}{=}}.

However, "def" extends over the edges of the equal sign. Is there a wider equal sign to use?

• You could just use the various 'equivalence' signs (mathworld.wolfram.com/Equivalent.html) that denote 'equality by definition'. Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 16:55
• A more specific link: mathworld.wolfram.com/Defined.html Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 16:55
• Rather than using an abbreviated word over an elongated equal sign, have you considered using either the $\equiv$ symbol or the macro $\overset{!}{=}$?
– Mico
Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 20:34
• I have considered $\equiv$, as well as $\triangleq$, but decided to use $\overset{def}{=}$, as (I think) is more obvious what it means
– Zack
Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 21:20
• Related Question: Short equals sign. Commented May 26, 2012 at 4:04

Just put two equals signs, backing up slightly:

\newcommand{\eqdef}{\overset{\mathrm{def}}{=\joinrel=}}


This is how TeX builds extensible arrows.

The magic macro \joinrel is defined as

\mathrel{\mkern-3mu}


and the magic is done by the fact that TeX doesn't put spaces between consecutive relation symbols:

=\mathrel{\mkern-3mu}=


will thus result in two equals signs slightly superimposed to each other.

• I had to accept this as, \joinrel > \usepackage{extarrows}.
– Zack
Commented Nov 19, 2011 at 16:47
• Amazing solution, egreg! :) Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 10:28
• @Zack On the other hand, the \xlongequal adapts to the text length Commented Oct 18, 2022 at 11:46

The extarrows package provides \xlongequal{<stuff>}:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{extarrows}% http://ctan.org/pkg/extarrows
\newcommand{\eqdef}{\xlongequal{\text{def}}}%
\begin{document}
$f(x) \eqdef g(x) = ax^2+bx+c$
\end{document}


extarrows requires amsmath (so it is loaded by default). As such, I've used \text which scales to the appropriate text font in the given math size.

If you want the boundary of the overset def to be tighter, use

\newcommand{\eqdef}{\xlongequal{\!\text{def}\!}}%


which removes some space around def.

If you want the size to math exactly, you can use \resizebox from the graphicx package and scale the width to the desired size (width of the unscaled version), and leave the height to be the same as the height of the = sign. Here is a comparison of the regular, and re sized versions:

Note that the manual tweak of \kern1.25pt may need to be adjusted based on the font being used.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}%
\usepackage{graphicx}% needed for \resizebox
\usepackage{calc}%     needed for the width/height calculations

\newcommand*{\MyDef}{\mathrm{def}}
\newcommand*{\MyEqdefU}{\ensuremath{\mathrel{\overset{\MyDef}{=}}}}% Unscaled version
\newcommand*{\MyEqdef}{\mathrel{\overset{\MyDef}{\resizebox{\widthof{\kern1.25pt\MyEqdefU}}{\heightof{$=$}}{$=$}}}}

\begin{document}
\begin{alignat*}{2}
f(x) &\MyEqdefU g(x) = h(x) \quad\text{Unscaled}\\
f(x) &\MyEqdef  g(x) = h(x) \quad\text{Scaled}
\end{alignat*}
\end{document}

• a simply \height instead of \heightof{=} should also work, because you can take the natural height.
– user2478
Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 6:35
• In the second version "def" slightly extends to the left beyond the equality symbol, at least in your output. Is it possible to improve?
– user282514
Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 20:04
• @AlbertNash: I think that slight difference is due to how the font is designed. If you apply a slight \kern as \newcommand*{\eqdef}{\mathop{\overset{\MyDef}{\resizebox{\widthof{\kern1.25pt\eqdefU}} then you should get better alignment (at least with the default font). Here is the result of that. Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 21:42
• @AlbertNash: Have incorportaed the tweak mentioned in the comments to get a better match of the width and renamed the macros so as to not conflict with unicode-math. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 3:38
• @AlbertNash: Good point. Now using \mathrel. Commented Feb 10, 2023 at 19:14

It doesn't strictly answer the question but if you only want the "def" to be about the same size as the equal sign you could also resize the text, i.e.

\documentclass{scrartcl}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{mathtools}

\def\Tiny{\fontsize{4pt}{4pt}\selectfont}
\newcommand*{\eqdef}{\ensuremath{\overset{\mathclap{\text{\Tiny def}}}{=}}}

\begin{document}

\begin{align}
A &\eqdef B \\
&= C
\end{align}

\end{document}


This way it looks better (in my opinion) when used together with normal equal signs.

• Can you choose font sizes below 5pt? When I run your example, I get the warning Font shape OT1/cmr/m/n' in size <4> not available ... size <5> substituted.
– Mico
Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 0:26
• @Mico: I don't really know. I chose the font size more or less randomly. But I guess your right and one really can't go below 5pt (at least not by default) as nothing changed when I tried smaller font sizes. Commented Nov 20, 2011 at 22:09

Just the plain horizontal extension of the equation mark is possible with the graphicx package:

\usepackage{graphicx}
...
{\scalebox{3}[1]{=}}


You can also define a command for this and use it lateron

\newcommand{\longeq}{\scalebox{3}[1]{=}}


like this:

\longeq

• Will this provide the correct spacing around the relation? Perhaps wrap it with \mathrel. How would you replicate the output requested by the OP?
– Werner
Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 19:13

Here is one adaptation of the Philipp's proposition so as to take care of the different math modes.

% Source : http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/35404/is-there-a-wider-equal-sign

\documentclass{scrartcl}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\usepackage{mathtools}

\usepackage{graphicx}

\makeatletter
\newcommand{\@@eqDef}[1]{%
\ensuremath{\overset{\mathclap{\text{\scalebox{#1}{def}}}}{=}}%
}
\newcommand*{\eqDef}{
\mathchoice
{% \displaystyle
\@@eqDef{0.7}
}
{% \textstyle
\@@eqDef{0.7}
}
{% \scriptstyle
\@@eqDef{0.6}
}
{% \scriptscriptstyle
\@@eqDef{0.5}
}
}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\begin{align}
A &\eqDef B \\
A &= C
\end{align}

$\renewcommand{\arraystretch}{1.2}% \begin{array}{llll} \textbf{Style} & \verb!\eqDef! \\ \hline \verb!\displaystyle! & \displaystyle A \eqDef B \\ \verb!\textstyle! & \textstyle A \eqDef B \\ \verb!\scriptstyle! & \scriptstyle A \eqDef B \\ \verb!\scriptscriptstyle! & \scriptscriptstyle A \eqDef B \end{array}$

\end{document}
`