In my document, LateX is consistently placing far too much space between symbols, e.g.


One way I am improving this spacing manually is using the following

Suppose $x\,{=}\,2$

which yields something much more reasonable:


The document renders much better throughout when I use \,{=}\, instead of = (and other symbols such as \in, >, etc.).

Is there a way I can by default reduce the spacing around symbols such as = and \in etc. without having to use the hack shown above in each location? I guess one possibility to define a command \mysymb that sets the spacing, although I'm wondering if there is a global setting that I can configure?

  • I am also willing to accept that modifying the spacing in this way is a bad idea and that it is best to leave LaTeX to squeeze/stretch the \mathbin and \mathrel automatically, provided there is a compelling argument.
    – jII
    Jan 20, 2019 at 17:16
  • using \, forces it to use \thinmuskip which seems terribly tight spacing and less than the \medmuskip used around binary relations such as + Jan 20, 2019 at 17:50
  • your initial spacing looks much more than the default, but you showed no code that produced that image. Jan 20, 2019 at 22:37

2 Answers 2


The default spacing around a \mathrel atom such as = is \thickmuskip the default setting is

\thickmuskip=5mu plus 5mu

the first setting looks best to me

enter image description here




\thickmuskip=3mu plus 2mu

\thickmuskip=1mu plus 1mu


Although you could of course also reduce \medmuskip to be more consistent.


another option is to use the package savetrees The first output below when using the package and the second output without it

Mathematica graphics


Suppose $x=2$

But notice this will affect other spacings in document and not just the space around = so it might not be what you want but something to try. There are different levels of saving space.

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