Finding LaTeX symbols


27 July 2009


All LaTeX users will sometimes need a symbol for which they don’t know the command. If you use WinEdt, there is a neat drop-down menu of some common symbols that can be helpful, but it is necessarily limited. What do you do when you want the male and female symbols?

For several years I’ve been using the comprehensive symbol list whenever I need a symbol in LaTeX that I can’t recall. But it is time consuming hunting through the 141 page document looking for just the right symbol.

Now there’s a new tool that promises to be a great time-saver: Detexify. Just draw the symbol you want by hand and it comes up with some suggested commands and the packages that contain them. I’ll be using it regularly!

Update: There are now iPhone and Android apps for Detexify.