I often use the absolute value symbol and write \lvert x \rvert.

But, can I somehow define something shorter like \abs{x}?

I want to use the amsmath-package.

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Absolute Value Symbols – CarLaTeX Jul 9 '17 at 6:48
  • @CarLaTeX I want to use amsmath, the answers in the link uses a couple of other packages. – JDoeDoe Jul 9 '17 at 6:54
  • OK, I've retracted my close vote. – CarLaTeX Jul 9 '17 at 6:55
  • Note that mathtools as suggested in Absolute Value Symbols extends amsmath. In fact it loads amsmath itself. So you could argue that a mathtools solution also uses amsmath. – moewe Jul 9 '17 at 9:12

It's quite strange you refuse loading of other packages: packages good are, says Yoda.

However, if you don't want to use abstract methods and prefer do all the work by hand, you need not even load amsmath.




$|\sin x|$ (wrong)

$\abs{\sin x}$ (right)

$\abs[\big]{\sin x}$
$\abs[\Big]{\sin x}$
$\abs[\bigg]{\sin x}$
$\abs[\Bigg]{\sin x}$
$\displaystyle\abs*{\frac{\sin x}{x}}$


$\abs[\big]{\sin x}_1^2$
$\abs[\Big]{\sin x}_1^2$
$\displaystyle\abs*{\frac{\sin x}{x}}_1^2$


enter image description here

  • I was looking for something with newcommand (CarLaTeXs post). – JDoeDoe Jul 9 '17 at 11:51

Why don't simply define a new command?

To auto-scale the bars, just use \left and \right, here some examples:

\newcommand{\abs}[1]{\left\lvert #1 \right\rvert}
\abs{x} \abs{\frac{y}{z}} \abs{w_{i}^{k}} \abs{\sum_{j=1}^{N}{X_{j}}}

enter image description here

  • Thanks you! Is it also possible to auto-scale the bars with this command? – JDoeDoe Jul 9 '17 at 11:49
  • @JDoeDoe You're welcome! See my renewed answer. – CarLaTeX Jul 9 '17 at 13:49

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