How to Add Symbols in LaTeX – Commands for LaTeX Greek Alphabet and More

LaTeX is a popular document preparation software that allows you to create various forms of written content. It presents the final document with a professional appearance, and this makes it incredibly popular with scientists and mathematicians. Many documents require the use of special symbols. The good news is that there are many different symbols in LaTeX. This guide will list the various symbols in each category and how to insert them into your LaTeX document.

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How to Insert Symbols in Your LaTeX Document?

You may be wondering how to insert symbols in LaTeX. It is possible to add certain symbols in-text while others require LaTeX’s math mode to be activated.

You can add simple symbols in LaTeX using their corresponding commands. For example, if you want to insert the star symbol “$\star$”, you can use the command \star in your code.

Greek Letters

Greek letters are commonly used in both maths and physics. They can be categorized as lowercase or capital letters.

Lowercase Greek letters in symbols in LaTeX are shown below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\alpha$\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

Uppercase Greek letters are shown in the table below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\Gamma$\Gamma$\Delta$\Delta$\Theta$\Theta$\Lambda$\Lambda
$\Xi$\Xi$\Pi$\Pi$\Sigma$\Sigma$\Upsilon$\Upsilon
$\Phi$\Phi$\Psi$\Psi$\Omega$\Omega

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Operator Symbols

The list of operator symbols and their corresponding commands is shown below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\pm$\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$\unrhd$\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}$\triangledown$\triangledown$\sqrt[n]{x}$\sqrt[n]{x}
$a^x$a^x$a^{xyz}$a^{xyz}$a_x$a_x

Relations Symbols

Some symbols in LaTeX denote the mathematical relationship between the terms that precede and follow them. These symbols are shown below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\le$\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$\bumpeq$\bumpeq

In some cases, you may need to show the negation of the relationships the above symbols represent. You can do this easily by adding “n” between “\” and the symbol term. For example, you can show the “not equal” symbol by using the command \nequal, which displays $\not=$.

You should note that while LaTeX displays the majority of symbols using the commands mentioned above, simple symbols such as “>”,”<”, and “=” must be entered using the keyboard.


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Arrow Symbols

The various arrow symbols in LaTeX are shown in the table below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\gets$\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
$\overrightarrow{AB}$\overrightarrow{AB}$\overleftarrow{AB}$\overleftarrow{AB}
$\overleftrightarrow{AB}$\overleftrightarrow{AB}

Accents

LaTeX also supports many different types of accents symbols. These are shown in the table below:

SymbolCommandSymbolCommandSymbolCommand
$\hat{x}$\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}

Dots

LaTeX supports various dot symbols. These are displayed in the table below

SymbolCommandSymbolCommand 
$\cdot$\cdot$\vdots$\vdots
$\dots$\dots$\ddots$\ddots
$\cdots$\cdots$\iddots$\iddots

Bracketing Symbols

Bracketing symbols are useful in mathematical formulas where you need to enclose expressions. The commonly used bracketing symbols in LaTeX are shown in the table below:

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

Symbol Size Discrepancies

Certain symbols are presented in different sizes depending on whether you are inserting them using math mode or display mode. The symbols in display mode tend to be larger than the ones in inline mode, so you should remember to choose the correct mode depending on how you want your symbol to be represented.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, LaTeX allows you to insert a variety of different symbols into your document. These symbols can serve important functions,expecially when it comes to physics equations and mathematical formulas. So keep the above list handy when you wish to work with symbols in LaTeX for your next document.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Can I Add an Asterix Symbol in my LaTeX document?

You can add an asterix symbol $\ast$ using the command \ast.

Q2. What is the Difference Between Symbols Inserted in Display Mode and Math Mode?

Some symbols appear larger when inserted in display mode compared to when they are inserted in math mode.

Q3. How Do I Show Negated Relationship Symbols in LaTeX?

You can display a negated relationship symbol by adding “n” between “\” and the symbol term in the command.

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