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These are all the standard math mode spaces in Latex. The smallest one, defined by \,, has a length of 3 mu. My question is very simple: can I define smaller spaces in math mode, for instance one of 1 or 2 mus? If possible, how do I do so?

Thank you all very much in advance for your time.

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    x \mkern 1mu x – David Carlisle Apr 2 '18 at 23:50
  • Thank you for your comment. Could you please turn it into an answer, with a bit of an explanation, for me to accept it? – Héctor Apr 2 '18 at 23:51
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    \mskip1mu too. If what you want is to make all of those \, smaller, you can do \thinmuskip=2mu. – Manuel Apr 2 '18 at 23:54
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the math analogues of \kern (for fixed spaces) and \hskip (for stretchy space) are \mkern and \mskip which take mu units where a mu is 1/18 em

so you can do

$x \mkern 1mu x$

but it is rather rare to use explicit space rather than use the named spaces such as \, which is \mkskip\thinmuskip

\thinmuskip isn't a fixed length, it is given an initial value of

\thinmuskip=3mu

but if you are using a math font other than computer modern a slightly larger or smaller amount may be more suitable, so a global setting such as

%\thinmuskip=3mu
%\medmuskip=4mu plus 2mu minus 4mu
%\thickmuskip=5mu plus 5mu

\thinmuskip=2mu
\medmuskip=3mu plus 2mu minus 3mu
\thickmuskip=4mu plus 4mu

would give tighter spacing

  • Using XeLatex, I set \thinmuskip=1mu directly after defining \documentclass. I can change it to whatever I want, no change in the PDF. – Ralf H Mar 2 at 18:27

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