The convention used at my workplace is to have spaces between numbers and units except percentages. Is there a way to create such an exception for a single unit throughout the document using the siunitx package?

Here is my MWE:

        In a glass beaker, add sodium hydroxide (\SI{1}{\gram}) and gently pour deionised water (\SI{40}{\milli\liter}). 

    Let the solution mix on the magnetic stirrer for \SI{120}{\second}.
    Now carefully add more water to raise the volume to \SI{100}{\milli\liter} to produce a \SI{1}{\percent} \si{\weight\per\volume} solution.
    Is there a way to make \SI{1}{\percent} look like 1\% ?
  • 3
    IMO percent is a unit and should get the same spacing as the other units. We are just used to seeing 1% all over because people did not adhere to this rule
    – daleif
    May 20, 2021 at 11:42
  • 1
    The BIPM list percent, hence I treat it as a unit in siunitx
    – Joseph Wright
    May 20, 2021 at 12:34
  • I went against the grain using LaTeX instead of MS Word in my group. I ain't arguing over stuff like this.
    – Miloop
    May 20, 2021 at 12:37
  • 1
    @daleif IMHO, percent can also be interpreted as a plain constant number, i.e % := 10^{−2}. (No need to involve the concept of a dimensionless unit). So take a := 10^{−2} instead. Would you still write 3 a? :) I think 3% looks slightly better in this case but a "thin space" is not too shabby either. May 20, 2021 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


You can re-declare the unit such that it applies a dedicated setting for the spacing. Getting the character means we have a little bit of work to do

\DeclareSIUnit[number-unit-product = ]\percent{%}

\SI{10}{\gram} but \SI{10}{\percent}


In v3, the option name has been updated to quantity-product: the above works with both v2 and v3.

  • 1
    Is it necessary to change the catcode of %? Can you write instead \DeclareSIUnit[number-unit-product = ]\percent{\%} without messing with catcodes? May 20, 2021 at 12:30
  • 1
    @SergioLlorente Yes and no - it will work in most cases but using the 'real' character has advantage under some (unusual) circumstances. As I set things up in siunitx to be as robust as I can, I favour inserting a real % (I do it slightly differently in the code)
    – Joseph Wright
    May 20, 2021 at 12:35

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