I'm trying to us TikZcd to create a better isomorphic mapping symbol. I've seen the other posts about this issue and they're all terrible, and they even acknowledge their solutions aren't great. The symbol for a map which is an isomorphism?

I personally think the arrow below is kind of nice (with some adjustments), where the example is the arrow from 1 to 2: enter image description here

This is produced by the code

$1 \hspace{-0.4cm} 
  \phantom{1} \arrow[r, "\sim"] & \phantom{1}

Since, this is a bit messy, I wanted to put this into a command like so

  \phantom{1} \arrow[r, "\sim"] & \phantom{1}

But I get the error

Package pgf: Single ampersand used with wrong catcode.

I've looked up this error but the results aren't relevant to my situation (as far as I can tell). Any ideas on how I can get this into a command?

  • Do you know \xrightarrow? – Sigur Jan 25 at 22:22
  • Yes, but I think it looks a bit weird. There's also \xlongrightarrow but that also looks strange to me. – trujello Jan 25 at 22:24
  • Please, tell us, why do you think strange? Is the arrow too short? Or too long? – Sigur Jan 25 at 22:24
  • I think it's too short. – trujello Jan 25 at 22:28
  • To make your command work, you can use an ampersand replacement: \newcommand*\isomap{ \hspace{-0.4cm} \begin{tikzcd}[ampersand replacement=\&] \phantom{1} \arrow[r, "\sim"] \& \phantom{1} \end{tikzcd} \hspace{-0.4cm} } but is unnecessarily complicated IMHO. Once you load tikz (which tikz-cd does) you have much simpler options. – Schrödinger's cat Jan 25 at 22:35

Another suggestion, with stackengine:

\newcommand{\isomarrow}{\mathrel{\setstackgap{S}{-0.5pt}\ensurestackMath{\Shortstack{\scriptstyle\sim\\ \longrightarrow}}}}


\[ 1 \isomarrow 2\]%


enter image description here

  • This is pretty nice, thank you! – trujello Jan 26 at 0:11

A possible solution without tikz-cd, using \xrightarrow with a box in predefined length (I used 1cm).

enter image description here

The command contains 2 arguments to be used as domain and codomain, like \isomap{x}{y} for example.


\newcommand{\isomap}[2]{$ #1 \xrightarrow{\makebox[1cm]{$\sim$}} #2 $}

the operator $\otimes$ is invariant up to isomorphism \isomap{1}{2}.

the operator $\otimes$ is invariant up to isomorphism \isomap{x}{y}.    

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