I'm using \ding{52} and \ding{56} from the pifont package to get nice satisfying thick ticks and crosses. I'd like a question mark ? that fits with these. \textbf{?} is too small, and not thick enough. (And ideally, I'd like it to be a bit more "hand drawn".)

Does anyone have a suggestion? (Either a way to get a ? that looks good with the pifont ticks and crosses, or a way to do all three in a consistent way other wise?

Here's an example of the code I'm using.

  \item[\onslide<+->{\ding{56}}] Foo
  \item[\onslide<+->{\ding{52}}] Bar
  \item[\onslide<+->{\ding{52}}] Stuff
  \item[\onslide<+->{\textbf{?}}] Things
  • What do <+-> and \onslide<+-> do?
    – doncherry
    Aug 24, 2011 at 8:39
  • 1
    @doncherry they are beamer overlay specifications. <+-> basically means "Do this on the next slide."
    – Seamus
    Aug 24, 2011 at 9:56

2 Answers 2


My best suggestion would be to try to find a free font that has a ? that goes well with those. I happen to think the ? found in Abyssinica SIL is a nice enough fit:

alt text

(Or maybe it's just that when I fired up my font previewer to find a ? that looked right, it was the first one alphabetically, and I was too lazy to continue.)

Since it's from SIL, that's a open font license/free font, but of course it hasn't been packaged for LaTeX. If you're using XeLaTeX, of course, it's easy enough to get it. If you're committed to sticking with pdflatex, you could create a tiny PDF just containing that character and stick it in with \includegraphics.

  • 1
    I like this solution, and I agree that the symbol does fit, but for the time being I'd prefer a pdflatex solution. Though I suppose I should migrate to XeLaTeX, but change scares me.
    – Seamus
    Oct 12, 2010 at 21:35
  • What's wrong with the \includegraphics idea? I'll send you the PDF if you want.
    – frabjous
    Oct 12, 2010 at 21:40
  • I'm not sure how to output a pdf containing just a ? of the right size, and I'm not sure how to scale it to the right size. (And I didn't actually notice that part of your answer until just now)
    – Seamus
    Oct 13, 2010 at 7:52
  • Here you go. Just use the scale option to \includegraphics to make it the right size. people.umass.edu/logic/questionmark.pdf -- I created that by making a minimal XeLaTeX document and pdfcrop on it afterwards. You could also use any word processor that can output to PDF, and pdfcrop afterwards. There's probably a way to bypass pdfcrop by using the preview package, but I'm too lazy to figure it out right now.
    – frabjous
    Oct 13, 2010 at 13:26
  • I've accepted this answer because I prefer it too. However, I'm probably actually going to go with an answer closer to your other one for this project, since it's for a beamer presentation which includes \setbeamercolor{itemize item}{fg=darkred!80!black}
    – Seamus
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:06

OK, I totally like my other answer better, but I guess you might also consider the one from Cyklop. That's part of TeXlive. Here it is in italic.

alt text



      \item[{\ding{56}}] Foo
      \item[{\ding{52}}] Bar
      \item[{\ding{52}}] Stuff
      \item[{\fontfamily{cyklop}\selectfont \textit{?}}] Things
  • How do I find out what fonts are in texlive, and what they all look like? The LaTeX font catalogue includes some that don't seem to be installed...
    – Seamus
    Oct 14, 2010 at 14:13
  • 1
    Did you run the "getnonfreefonts" script? tug.org/fonts/getnonfreefonts (The script is likely already installed.) Otherwise TeXlive just ships "Debian-free"/open source fonts.
    – frabjous
    Oct 14, 2010 at 15:18

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