I am trying to produce a type of "Calligraphic L" using LaTeX. Please see the image below. The wobbles are down to me, possibly too much sugar over the Christmas holiday period.

enter image description here

This type of "L" is used in Abramowitz and Stegun , see the reference , in particular in result 9.6.26 which gives recurrence relations for modified Bessel functions.

So, how might I produce this type of "L" using LaTeX?

Other Info.

I have searched using Google, with the search string "latex fancy L" and also used "Detexify" on a mobile phone but did not find anything useful. I also considered other "Math Alphabets" the packages "eufrac" and "rsfso" do not appear to give the type of "L" I am looking for. I have also searched on StackExchange using a mobile phone.

The "L" I want is like that in the package "calrsfs", like the symbol given by the command \mathcal{L} but with an extra loop at the top left of the symbol and a little crossing line part way up the main stem of the symbol.

Reference Handbook Of Mathematical Functions, ninth Dover printing, Ed M. Abramowitz and I.A. Stegun, Dover Publications, Inc., New York.

Response to duplicate issues.

How to look up a symbol or ...

I recomend the post in question. I think that is where I found out about Detexify from. Apparently the advice in this post should have led to an answer to my question. It's over to the powers that be now ...

How to do the 'curvy L' ...

My question is about a particular symbol, one that appears in an equation in Abramowitz and Stegun. This symbol is not a symbol normally used to represent the Lagrangian or a Laplace transform. In fact it is not even an "L".

Scanned Symbol

enter image description here

  • Could someone comment, giving the names of any fonts or any set of symbols, used in the reference, Abramowitz and Stegun?
    – user151522
    Jan 4, 2019 at 20:34
  • How about the symbol £ (pound sterling symbol), which is certainly a curly L with a bar. Then there are the Polish Ł and the Saanich Ƚ which might be available in cursive styles
    – Henry
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:33

5 Answers 5


This letter is not an L but a Z. According to Detexify, you can typeset it using


enter image description here

  • The top left of the symbol in Abramowitz and Stegun, appears to have a completely joined up loop.
    – user151522
    Jan 4, 2019 at 12:47
  • @user151522 maybe a good idea to scan the relevant part of the equation and post it in your question or otherwise give more information about the 9.6.26 formula (i.e. the name of the chapter / paragraph and the text just on top of the formula. Not everybody will have the mentioned version of the book (but maybe another version), in my case the paragraph with the mentioned formula is "9.6(iii) Airy Functions as Confluent Hypergeometric Functions"
    – albert
    Jan 4, 2019 at 14:17
  • Scanned symbol has been added to question.
    – user151522
    Jan 4, 2019 at 14:52
  • 2
    @albert: 9.2.6 is in the bottom left of archive.org/details/AandS-mono600/page/n389 - at least one of the examples is not joined up and the others may be scanning artifacts. Wikipedia uses Z for the same thing
    – Henry
    Jan 4, 2019 at 23:50
  • @henry Thanks, looks like I looked in an electronic book marked at my place with the name abramovitz but in fact is a much newer version of "NIST Handbook of Mathematical Functions" first printed in 2010, so not the original.
    – albert
    Jan 5, 2019 at 9:13

I can't resist showing you a French calligraphic school writing font and its pretty capital letters.


\begin{cursive}I can't resist showing you a French calligraphic school writing font and its pretty capital letters: \end{cursive}

\textcursive{L Z}

\begin{cursive}A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z\end{cursive}

The following also works


I recommend you use unicode-math when you can, and legacy NFSS fonts when you have to. One wrinkle here is that, by default, it sets \mathcal and \mathscr to the same alphabet. Another is that many fonts, including XITS, STIX Two and Asana, do contain a separate calligraphic or script alphabet, but as a stylistic set.

For example, to get this symbol from STIX Two, while also leaving \mathcal available, you would do something like:


\setmathfont{STIX Two Math}
\setmathfont[range = {scr, bfscr}, StylisticSet = 1]{STIX Two Math}

\( \mathscr{Z} \)

Script Z

You can instead load any system font as your \mathscr and \mathcal fonts.

If you want to stay compatible with PDFLaTeX, I recommend you load your script, calligraphic, Fraktur and blackboard alphabets through mathalpha (formerly mathalfa). The documentation has font samples of every available alphabet, gives them a consistent interface, and allows you to scale them. You might try either rsfso or boondoxo for a less-slanted version than mathrsfs.

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % The default since 2018

\( \mathscr{Z} \)

Boondoxo sample


You can use \mathcal



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