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I wish to add tilde or hat notation to a binary relation I have created, but the notation will not centre correctly. For example, if I write the following

$\hat{\mathrel{\mathcal R}}$

then the hat is where it should be, but the problem is that the relation loses the appropriate spacing for a mathematical relation. If, on the other hand I try

$\mathrel{\hat{\mathcal R}}$

then the hat is uncentered. For binary operators, defined via \mathbin, the shift forward of the hat or tilde is less obvious, but it is still wrong. Oddly enough, the spacing of binary operators does not seem to be affected by putting the hat outside $\hat{\mathbin{\mathcal R}}$.

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\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\begin{document}
$a \hat{\mathrel{\mathcal R}} b$

$a \mathrel{\hat{\mathcal R}} b$

$a \mathrel{\hat{\mathrel{\mathcal R}}} b$ Use this one
\end{document}

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    As per original version of the question, this is a perfect quick fix. – user1211719 Apr 6 at 12:19
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The hat is placed over the calligraphic R in an “optimal” way, according to the font designer's wishes.

If you want to have a different placement, more central, just add an empty subformula, so the hat is placed over the whole thing and not the single letter.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{amsmath}

\begin{document}

$a\mathrel{\hat{\mathcal{R}}}b$

$a\mathrel{\hat{\mathcal{R}{}}}b$

\end{document}

enter image description here

When TeX has to place a math accent, there are two cases.

First case: a single letter/symbol. The accent is placed over the “visual center” of the letter/symbol taking into account the slant of the font from which the letter/symbol is taken. This is how \hat{A} moves the hat right so it sits above the vertex of A.

Second case: a subformula, that is, math mode material enclosed in braces, or a \left-\right pair, or the argument to the accent comamand itself if it doesn't turn out to be a single math symbol; also something like \mathrel{<symbol>} is not considered to be a single math symbol. The accent is placed in the middle of the subformula.

With \hat{\mathcal{R}{}} we’re in the second case, because the argument to \hat isn’t a single letter/symbol, but also contains an empty subformula.

Thus \mathrel{\hat{\mathrel{\mathcal{R}}}} works, but is not really the best solution.

| improve this answer | |
  • nice to meet you. If you could explain a little more about what you mean by "whole thing", that would be great. – user1211719 Apr 7 at 2:29
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    @user1211719 I added the explanation. – egreg Apr 7 at 8:03

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