LaTeX:Symbols

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This article will provide a short list of commonly used LaTeX symbols.

Operators

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\pm$ \pm $\mp$ \mp $\times$ \times
$\div$ \div $\cdot$ \cdot $\ast$ \ast
$\star$ \star $\dagger$ \dagger $\ddagger$ \ddagger
$\amalg$ \amalg $\cap$ \cap $\cup$ \cup
$\uplus$ \uplus $\sqcap$ \sqcap $\sqcup$ \sqcup
$\vee$ \vee $\wedge$ \wedge $\oplus$ \oplus
$\ominus$ \ominus $\otimes$ \otimes $\circ$ \circ
$\bullet$ \bullet $\diamond$ \diamond $\lhd$ \lhd
$\rhd$ \rhd $\unlhd$ \unlhd Unrhd.gif \unrhd
$\oslash$ \oslash $\odot$ \odot $\bigcirc$ \bigcirc
$\triangleleft$ \triangleleft $\Diamond$ \Diamond $\bigtriangleup$ \bigtriangleup
$\bigtriangledown$ \bigtriangledown $\Box$ \Box $\triangleright$ \triangleright
$\setminus$ \setminus $\wr$ \wr $\sqrt{x}$ \sqrt{x}
$x^{\circ}$ x^{\circ} $\sqrt[n]{x}$ \sqrt[n]{x}

Relations

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\le$ \le $\ge$ \ge $\neq$ \neq
$\sim$ \sim $\ll$ \ll $\gg$ \gg
$\doteq$ \doteq $\simeq$ \simeq $\subset$ \subset
$\supset$ \supset $\approx$ \approx $\asymp$ \asymp
$\subseteq$ \subseteq $\supseteq$ \supseteq $\cong$ \cong
$\smile$ \smile $\sqsubset$ \sqsubset $\sqsupset$ \sqsupset
$\equiv$ \equiv $\frown$ \frown $\sqsubseteq$ \sqsubseteq
$\sqsupseteq$ \sqsupseteq $\propto$ \propto $\bowtie$ \bowtie
$\in$ \in $\ni$ \ni $\prec$ \prec
$\succ$ \succ $\vdash$ \vdash $\dashv$ \dashv
$\preceq$ \preceq $\succeq$ \succeq $\models$ \models
$\perp$ \perp $\parallel$ \parallel $\|$ \|
$\mid$ \mid

Negations of many of these relations can be formed by just putting \not before the symbol, or by slipping an n between the \ and the word. Here are a few examples, plus a few other negations; it works for many of the others as well.

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\nmid$ \nmid $\nleq$ \nleq $\ngeq$ \ngeq
$\nsim$ \nsim $\ncong$ \ncong $\nparallel$ \nparallel
$\not<$ \not< $\not>$ \not> $\not=$ \not=
$\not\le$ \not\le $\not\ge$ \not\ge $\not\sim$ \not\sim
$\not \approx$ \not\approx $\not\cong$ \not\cong $\not\equiv$ \not\equiv
$\not\parallel$ \not\parallel $\nless$ \nless $\ngtr$ \ngtr
$\lneq$ \lneq $\gneq$ \gneq $\lnsim$ \lnsim
$\lneqq$ \lneqq $\gneqq$ \gneqq

To use other relations not listed here, such as =, >, and <, in LaTeX, you may just use the symbols on your keyboard.

Greek Letters

Lowercase Letters
Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\alpha$ \alpha $\beta$ \beta $\gamma$ \gamma $\delta$ \delta
$\epsilon$ \epsilon $\varepsilon$ \varepsilon $\zeta$ \zeta $\eta$ \eta
$\theta$ \theta $\vartheta$ \vartheta $\iota$ \iota $\kappa$ \kappa
$\lambda$ \lambda $\mu$ \mu $\nu$ \nu $\xi$ \xi
$\pi$ \pi $\varpi$ \varpi $\rho$ \rho $\varrho$ \varrho
$\sigma$ \sigma $\varsigma$ \varsigma $\tau$ \tau $\upsilon$ \upsilon
$\phi$ \phi $\varphi$ \varphi $\chi$ \chi $\psi$ \psi
$\omega$ \omega


Capital Letters
Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\Gamma$ \Gamma $\Delta$ \Delta $\Theta$ \Theta $\Lambda$ \Lambda
$\Xi$ \Xi $\Pi$ \Pi $\Sigma$ \Sigma $\Upsilon$ \Upsilon
$\Phi$ \Phi $\Psi$ \Psi $\Omega$ \Omega


Headline text

Arrows

Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\gets$ \gets $\to$ \to
$\leftarrow$ \leftarrow $\Leftarrow$ \Leftarrow
$\rightarrow$ \rightarrow $\Rightarrow$ \Rightarrow
$\leftrightarrow$ \leftrightarrow $\Leftrightarrow$ \Leftrightarrow
$\mapsto$ \mapsto $\hookleftarrow$ \hookleftarrow
$\leftharpoonup$ \leftharpoonup $\leftharpoondown$ \leftharpoondown
$\rightleftharpoons$ \rightleftharpoons $\longleftarrow$ \longleftarrow
$\Longleftarrow$ \Longleftarrow $\longrightarrow$ \longrightarrow
$\Longrightarrow$ \Longrightarrow $\longleftrightarrow$ \longleftrightarrow
$\Longleftrightarrow$ \Longleftrightarrow $\longmapsto$ \longmapsto
$\hookrightarrow$ \hookrightarrow $\rightharpoonup$ \rightharpoonup
$\rightharpoondown$ \rightharpoondown $\leadsto$ \leadsto
$\uparrow$ \uparrow $\Uparrow$ \Uparrow
$\downarrow$ \downarrow $\Downarrow$ \Downarrow
$\updownarrow$ \updownarrow $\Updownarrow$ \Updownarrow
$\nearrow$ \nearrow $\searrow$ \searrow
$\swarrow$ \swarrow $\nwarrow$ \nwarrow

(For those of you who hate typing long strings of letters, \iff and \implies can be used in place of \Longleftrightarrow and \Longrightarrow respectively.)

Dots

Accents

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\hat{x}$ \hat{x} $\check{x}$ \check{x} $\dot{x}$ \dot{x}
$\breve{x}$ \breve{x} $\acute{x}$ \acute{x} $\ddot{x}$ \ddot{x}
$\grave{x}$ \grave{x} $\tilde{x}$ \tilde{x} $\mathring{x}$ \mathring{x}
$\bar{x}$ \bar{x} $\vec{x}$ \vec{x}

When applying accents to i and j, you can use \imath and \jmath to keep the dots from interfering with the accents:

Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\vec{\jmath}$ \vec{\jmath} $\tilde{\imath}$ \tilde{\imath}

\tilde and \hat have wide versions that allow you to accent an expression:

Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\widehat{3+x}$ \widehat{3+x} $\widetilde{abc}$ \widetilde{abc}

Others

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\infty$ \infty $\triangle$ \triangle $\angle$ \angle
$\aleph$ \aleph $\hbar$ \hbar $\imath$ \imath
$\jmath$ \jmath $\ell$ \ell $\wp$ \wp
$\Re$ \Re $\Im$ \Im $\mho$ \mho
$\prime$ \prime $\emptyset$ \emptyset $\nabla$ \nabla
$\surd$ \surd $\partial$ \partial $\top$ \top
$\bot$ \bot $\vdash$ \vdash $\dashv$ \dashv
$\forall$ \forall $\exists$ \exists $\neg$ \neg
$\flat$ \flat $\natural$ \natural $\sharp$ \sharp
$\backslash$ \backslash $\Box$ \Box $\Diamond$ \Diamond
$\clubsuit$ \clubsuit $\diamondsuit$ \diamondsuit $\heartsuit$ \heartsuit
Spadesuit.gif \spadesuit $\Join$ \Join $\blacksquare$ \blacksquare
$\S$ \S $\P$ \P $\copyright$ \copyright
$\pounds$ \pounds $\overarc{ABC}$ \overarc{ABC}(it works) $\underarc{XYZ}$ \underarc{XYZ}(it works)
$\bigstar$ \bigstar
$\square$ \square

Command Symbols

Some symbols are used in commands so they need to be treated in a special way.

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\textdollar$ \textdollar $\&$ \& $\%$ \% $\#$ \#
$\_$ \_ $\{$ \{ $\}$ \} $\backslash$ \backslash

(Warning: Using $ for $\textdollar$ will result in $&#036;$. This is a bug as far as we know. Depending on the version of $\LaTeX$ this is not always a problem.)

European Language Symbols

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
${\oe}$ {\oe} ${\ae}$ {\ae} ${\o}$ {\o}
${\OE}$ {\OE} ${\AE}$ {\AE} ${\AA}$ {\AA} ${\O}$ {\O}
${\l}$ {\l} ${\ss}$ {\ss} $\text{!`}$ !`
${\L}$ {\L} ${\SS}$ {\SS}

Bracketing Symbols

In mathematics, sometimes we need to enclose expressions in brackets or braces or parentheses. Some of these work just as you'd imagine in LaTeX; type ( and ) for parentheses, [ and ] for brackets, and | and | for absolute value. However, other symbols have special commands:

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\{$ \{ $\}$ \} $\|$ \|
$\backslash$ \backslash $\lfloor$ \lfloor $\rfloor$ \rfloor
$\lceil$ \lceil $\rceil$ \rceil $\langle$ \langle
$\rangle$ \rangle

You might notice that if you use any of these to typeset an expression that is vertically large, like

(\frac{a}{x} )^2

the parentheses don't come out the right size:

$(\frac{a}{x})^2$

If we put \left and \right before the relevant parentheses, we get a prettier expression:

\left(\frac{a}{x} \right)^2

gives

$\left(\frac{a}{x} \right)^2$

\left and \right can also be used to resize the following symbols:

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\uparrow$ \uparrow $\downarrow$ \downarrow $\updownarrow$ \updownarrow
$\Uparrow$ \Uparrow $\Downarrow$ \Downarrow $\Updownarrow$ \Updownarrow

Multi-Size Symbols

Some symbols render differently in inline math mode and in display mode. Display mode occurs when you use \[...\] or $$...$$, or environments like \begin{equation}...\end{equation}, \begin{align}...\end{align}. Read more in the commands section of the guide about how symbols which take arguments above and below the symbols, such as a summation symbol, behave in the two modes.

In each of the following, the two images show the symbol in display mode, then in inline mode.

Symbol Command Symbol Command Symbol Command
$\sum  \textstyle\sum$ \sum $\int  \textstyle\int$ \int $\oint  \textstyle\oint$ \oint
$\prod  \textstyle\prod$ \prod $\coprod  \textstyle\coprod$ \coprod $\bigcap  \textstyle\bigcap$ \bigcap
$\bigcup  \textstyle\bigcup$ \bigcup $\bigsqcup  \textstyle\bigsqcup$ \bigsqcup $\bigvee  \textstyle\bigvee$ \bigvee
$\bigwedge  \textstyle\bigwedge$ \bigwedge $\bigodot  \textstyle\bigodot$ \bigodot $\bigotimes  \textstyle\bigotimes$ \bigotimes
$\bigoplus  \textstyle\bigoplus$ \bigoplus $\biguplus  \textstyle\biguplus$ \biguplus

Examples

  • x^y is the same as x^{y}, producing $x^y$ .
  • x_y is the same as x_{y}, producing $x_y$ .
  • However, x^10 is not the same as x^{10}. The former produces $x^10$ instead of $x^{10}$.

See Also

ACS WASC
ACCREDITED
SCHOOL

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