LaTeX has the canonical \mathcal for typing script characters in math mode.

Does Plain TeX have a similar ability?

  • \def\mathcal#1{{\cal#1}} Nov 25, 2018 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Plain TeX knows about a few math alphabets, which are called with the standard

\it \bf \sl \tt

commands. There are also \mit and the one that interests you, that is,


Beware that braces are needed around the symbols:

${\cal P}(X)$

might denote the power set of X. The same for the other commands in math mode: \bf{x} would be a big mistake, whereas {\bf x} is correct.

Note that \cal does something sensible only with uppercase letters.

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