Is there a difference between \dots and \ldots, the ellipsis?

If yes: Which? When to use \dots and when to use \ldots?

If no: Why are there both at all?


1 Answer 1


in latex.ltx, \ldots is equated (\let) to \dots. so in text, it's the same, and you can use either.

with amsmath, the situation is more complicated; \dots tries to determine by context (only in math mode) whether to use \ldots or \cdots, with several more options for the author if amsmath doesn't get it right.

so in general, it's easier to just use \dots and not have to remember the details. but if the alternative chosen by amsmath isn't appropriate, the original commands can still be used explicitly.

  • 9
    Thank you very much. :) I'm curious: Where or how to learn these things in the first place?
    – Foo Bar
    Oct 15, 2012 at 15:16
  • 10
    @FooBar texdoc source2e is a good starting point :)
    – cmhughes
    Oct 15, 2012 at 16:16
  • 3
    @FooBar and for the ams \dots see texdoc amsmath, of course. Jan 18, 2015 at 14:09
  • 3
    An example I just run into: I placed a \dots between two \cdot and promptly they landed on the same height as them. Methinks this looks awkward and I used \ldots, forcing them into basement. Your esthetic may vary. Oct 31, 2017 at 10:38
  • 1
    @HaukeReddmann -- there are exceptions. this is one of them. it's always possible to override the amsmath decisions when necessary. Oct 31, 2017 at 14:27

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