I need to display two single quotes without anything between them (I'm preparing computer science lecture slides and I want to display '\''), but of course LaTeX wants to translate '' to closing double quotes.

What can I do to bypass what is now a limitation for me?

  • 2
    This question triggered a lot of different suggestions and I learned a lot from most of them... I elected the answer with the solution I actually chose, but many of them would have worked. Thanks guys! – Eusebius Sep 24 '12 at 19:36

Depending on whether you need ordinary or "straight" (i.e., perfectly vertical) single quotes, you could use a verbatim environment or some of the macros of the textcomp package:

\usepackage{fancyvrb} % for \Verb instruction
\usepackage{textcomp} % for \textquotesingle


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  • Thanks, useful set of suggestions. I went for verbatim, I just didn't know I could use verbatim stuff in-line. – Eusebius Sep 24 '12 at 19:34

Put a {} between the quotes:


Using '\null' or '\hspace{0pt}' works for me.


You can set a single left quote using \textquoteleft and a single right quote using \textquoteright, so


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