A rather puny question:
What is "good practice" to end a backslashed command? At the moment, I simply insert a {} if the following char (can you tell me which ones qualify?) does not automatically end the backslashed command, e.g. $\rho+\Delta{}A$. In this case, the closing bracket could go after the A but I quickly found that when expressions get complicated (e.g. A has an index 1 too) things go unmatched very fast :-)

  • 8
    In math mode never use {} this way (it will ruin the spacing in general) just use a space. Nov 8 '17 at 14:01

Never use braces just to terminate a command in math mode, they form an empty node, rather like \mbox{} and so affect the space. In your example just use

$\rho+\Delta A$

An example with a clear spacing difference would be

enter image description here



$\rho \leq{} + 2 A$

$\rho \leq + 2 A$
  • This same example also shows we can't use {} around the macro either, as in {\leq} (stating just in case anyone was considering that option for delimiting macros). Nov 8 '17 at 23:30

In general all letters qualify to follow a backslash and make up a command name. These letters are a-z and A-Z by default. Some commands like \makeatletter or \ExplSyntaxOn add other characters as letters (e.g. @ or _ and :). If one of those characters follows the command name you have to put some boundary there. The easiest way to do this is to follow your command by a space (as mentioned by @DavidCarlisle).

Examples (if you want more details consider reading this post):

\DeltaA % this would be one command, use
\Delta A % instead as this has the "boundary", but
\Delta1 % would not be a problem as 1 is no "letter" by default
\Delta@ % see above, but
\makeatletter\Delta@\makeatother % would call for a macro \Delta@

If math mode is concerned you are done using the space. In text mode you may want to consider that the space after a command is absorbed. So in text mode you may want to use \textDelta{} (or if you want to ensure the space \textDelta\).

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.