# Elegant fractions in one line for partial derivatives

1. I've learned from the TeXbook and from https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/128498/1340 that textmode fractions are often best written in slashed form. Looking at my manuscript I just ran into $\frac{\partial t}{\partial x}$, but partial derivatives in slashed form seem to be much less common (though I've indeed seen them sometimes, but others dislike them too, e.g., see comment How do I write the partial derivatives without partitioning?), especially when parentheses are needed.

What's typographically appropriate there?

2. In fact, my actual code is $\frac{\partial t}{\partial x, d_x}$, because this isn't really calculus but some other notation (it's only inspired from partial derivatives) from a PhD thesis—which seems to never use slashed form. Still, if slashed form $(\partial t)/(\partial x, d_x)$ is appropriate I could use it.

EDIT: I know the , d_x seems to make no sense—again, these are not actual partial derivatives. (I can link to the actual source but that's really off-topic).

• choice of notation is normally considered off topic here, put personally I wouldn't use the / form for partial derivatives either \frac form or if inline use is more common switch to a D_{xyz} style of notation. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 19:43

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xfrac}
\usepackage{mathtools}

\begin{document}

$\frac{\partial t}{\partial x, d_x} \qquad \sfrac{\partial t}{\partial x, d_x} \qquad \sfrac{\partial t}{\partial x}\cdot\sfrac{1}{d_x}$

\end{document}


• The question is probably off topic.
• Anyway -- I like the slashed version better :).
• I do not understand the ,d_x part -- are you sure that is correct?
• Better use \sfrac from the xfrac package. It remedies many of nicefrac's shortcomings and \sfrac is less typing than \nicefrac. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 23:31
• Good idea. Feel free to edit the answer. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 23:41
• the (middle) slashed form doesn't look like it has the same meaning as the \frac form. adding parentheses around the denominator would make them obviously equivalent. Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 1:47
• @barbarabeeton Yes, also my opinion. I just was out of time/motivation yesterday night. Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 9:55

You could use the index notation. This is somewhat common in physics.

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

$\frac{\partial t}{\partial x, d_x} \equiv \partial_{x, d_x} t$

\end{document}


• To be sure: that's probably $\partial_x t$ (or $\partial_{x, d_x} t$) based on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partial_derivative#Notation and on the fact that x is the independent variables that t depends on (and d_x`... sorry, don't ask). If so, I get it, and it seems a pretty clever idea. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 23:43
• @Blaisorblade Of course, you're right. I messed up the order. I fixed my answer. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 23:45
• Oh thanks—I was really wondering for a long moment! Commented Jul 21, 2017 at 0:08