I'm trying to write a set subtraction operation in an AMS formatted template. In the end, what I want should look like A\B. But I'm doing this in math-mode $A\B$ and this gives me errors. I've also tried using the \diagdown symbol, but it doesn't work either. Is there another way to do this?

  • 4
    Remember that \ is TeX escape character, so TeX is seeing \B as a macro name (probably undefined). What about $A\backslash B$?
    – JLDiaz
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:33
  • For your special Problem, @corentin already gave the answer below. For a more geneal answer, see tex.stackexchange.com/q/9363/18674 Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


\setminus should be what you are after.

\usepackage{amssymb} % for \smallsetminus

\[ \mbox{setminus: } A \setminus B,\quad \mbox{smallsetminus: } A \smallsetminus B, \quad \mbox{backslash: } A \backslash B\]

enter image description here

Note that you can find more information here on How to look up a symbol?. In particular, you have the Comprehensive LaTeX symbols and the website Detexify. There is also this post which was mentioned earlier in a comment

  • 5
    You can include also $\backslash$, which produces a different spacing, for comparison.
    – JLDiaz
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:35
  • @JLDiaz Thanks for your comment, you are right, I will update my post.
    – Corentin
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:37
  • there is also \smallsetminus, available with \usepackage{amssymb}, for those who prefer a smaller symbol (with the same meaning). Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 18:38
  • This was exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! :)
    – Paul
    Commented Dec 9, 2012 at 19:06

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