Why are basic amsmath commands like \binom and \cdot treated as if they are misspelled in the TeX editor? I have included the amsmath package, and the code works fine. I'm curious as to why those red squigglies exist.


  • What editor are you using?
    – Werner
    Commented Jan 14, 2012 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Spell checking is based on a list of defined terms (depending on the language) and does not include any special commands that may be defined by the various packages (as there are numerous packages, and new ones appear quite often). In most editors, you should be able to add to a your local dictionary by highlighting the word and selecting Ignore Spelling. In TeXShop this is activated by a right-click.

This feature is also useful if you have your own custom macros defined and allows you to not flag those as misspelled as well.


But keep in mind that once you do this, you will need to be careful to not use that word in your usual usage as it will not be flagged as misspelled. Most spell checkers will not differentiate between macros and words (i.e., the \ is ignored).

Here is an example using TeXShop: Note here that both uses of tableofcontents (the macro and the word) is flagged as being misspelled:

enter image description here

After selecting Ignore Spelling, note that both the macro and the word are not flagged as being misspelled:

enter image description here


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