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Is it possible to produce isolated accents, with no letters under it?

I'm looking for these characters in specific: ` ~ ^ ´ ˆ ˜ ¨

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4 Answers 4

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You can generate the accent like you would normally, only use a space as the letter to apply it to. As an example, consider the following:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
  $\tilde{ }$ $\hat{ }$ \'{ }
\end{document}

Which looks like this:

Accents

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There's no need to go in math mode:

\`{} \'{} \^{} \~{} \v{} \u{} \.{}

are various examples: just tell TeX to put the accent over nothing.

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In case of XeLaTeX and some individual accent characters in Greek (e.g. Psili - Unicode U+1FBF) it is posisble to ensure the character is not combined with the preceding letter using the following trick:

ἐπ\/᾿\ \ ὀλίγον

Which renders correctly as "ἐπ᾿ ὀλίγον" instead of π combined with Psili.

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  • Note that Unicode has the non-combining psili ᾿ (U+1FBF) and also might support adding the combining accent to a non-breaking space (^^^^00a0 or ~)
    – Davislor
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 22:42
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In Unicode, the canonical way to do this is to combine the accent with a non-breaking space (U+00A0). In TeX, a non-breaking space is ~,

There are also Unicode codepoints for many non-combining accents.

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