How to write a real number symbol in LaTeX?

How to write a real number symbol in LaTeX?

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This article aims to show you a simple way to create a real number symbol in LaTeX.

Sooner or later you have seen the real number symbol somewhere, and today you will learn how to insert this symbol in your LaTeX document. 

LaTeX Real Number

As you know real numbers are the set of rational and irrational numbers that belong to the natural numbers, usually denoted by writing a capital blackboard R.  And you can include it in many ways in your LaTeX document.


It begins with the basic built-in command that doesn’t require a package, \mathbf{} it takes one value as argument

$$\mathbf{R}$$ %basic code
real number symbol in LaTeX
A capital blackboard bold R, an old textbook or document could have it


Now we can achieve a similar but more elegant result with the amssymb package, using the command \mathbb{R} that takes one value. For example

$\mathbb{R}$ is the set of real numbers
real number symbol in LaTeX
More traditional sign nowadays for the real numbers symbol

This is based on the double bars from writing the set on the blackboards back in the old days.


Another package to define the set, can be created using the amsfont package, it contains different fonts according to the American Mathematical Society. The command is \mathbb{R} just as before. For example

$\mathbb{R}$ is the set of real numbers
real number symbol in LaTeX
Same font as with the amssymb package output


Maybe if you are working with complex variables you may want to use the Re(z) symbol to define the real numbers in complex analysis, for the amsmath package is called, the command is \operatorname{Re}(z). For example

$\operatorname{Re}(z)$ is the set of the real numbers in $\mathbb{Z}$
real number symbol in LaTeX
Combination of two packages output, it is not bold.

Basically the \mathbb{R} command is not limited to one latex package and there could be others that do the same, and the same goes to other symbols, but these packages are the most populars ones out there.

I hope you find this tutorial helpful and don’t forget to comment if you have any questions.

Further Reading

LaTex Tutorial on Symbols

  1. How To Create A Cross Product Symbol In LaTeX
  2. How to create a hat symbol in LaTeX?
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SJ Tsai
Chief Editor. Writer wrangler. Research guru. Three years at scijournal. Hails from a family with five PhDs. When not shaping content, creates art. Peek at the collection on Etsy. For thoughts and updates, hit up Twitter.

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