I want to crop \rightarrow so that the head remains but the tail is shorter. The reason I want a short-tailed rightarrow "\shortrightarrow" is because of my ultimate goal: to obtain a double headed arrow with the same width as the original.

In the source2e \rightarrow is defined as follows:

393 \DeclareMathSymbol{\rightarrow}{\mathrel}{symbols}{"21} 

RELATED: Arrow heads on \twoheadrightarrow

With a "\shortrightarrow" I can easily construct the desired double headed rightarrow with the same width as the original. (n.b. \twoheadrightarrow has too small arrow heads; the answer provided in the above RELATED link does not have the same width as the original \rightarrow)

I tried to investigate how \xrightarrow is defined in hopes of being able to modify the code so that I can obtain a short-tailed \rightarrow. Unfortunately I found that the code uses \cleaders to render multiple copies of \relbar, so my investigation ended.

Now I resort to asking the TeX community for advice. Is it possible to crop glyphs?

EDIT: I want to provide an example of how I managed to create a custom \hookrightarrow so that the width is the same as \rightarrow. My ultimate goal is motivated by my recent ability to define \inj. (inj is short for injection; the double headed arrow will be used for surjection 'surj')

  • erh, what is wrong with \twoheadrightarrow (from amssymb)? Found it the comprehensive LaTeX symbol list
    – daleif
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 10:36
  • 1
    @daleif The arrow heads are different.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 10:42

1 Answer 1


Use trimclip:


  \smash{\rlap{\kern0.1\wd0 \clipbox{{.3\width} {-\height} 0pt {-\height}}{$\m@th\rightarrow$}}}%

\setlength{\fboxsep}{0pt}\setlength{\fboxrule}{0.1pt}% just for the example




$a\rightarrow b$

$a\tworightarrow b$

$\tworightarrow \quad \scriptstyle \tworightarrow \quad \scriptscriptstyle \tworightarrow$


enter image description here

  • I recommend adjusting the clipbox's first argument to \clipbox{{.3\width} {-\height} 0pt {-\height}}. The difference is slight. Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 12:04
  • @AlbertoTakase Thanks, you've eagle eye.
    – egreg
    Commented Aug 28, 2019 at 14:21

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