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LATEX: Hyphens in Math Mode

LATEX: Hyphens in Math Mode

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Published by Franck Dernoncourt

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Published by: Franck Dernoncourt on May 16, 2012
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05/16/2012

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L
A
TEX: Hyphens in Math Mode
Gernot Salzer, salzer@logic.at9 December 2008, updated 1 June 2009
Abstract
Hyphens are sometimes necessary in L
A
TEX’s math mode to structurelong variable or function names. We present four ways to typeset them,two bad ones and two good ones. This discussion seems to be necessarysince the knowledge about how to do it right is not wide-spread.
Bad: typing hyphens directly
In math mode, the hyphen symbol is typeset as minus sign, which is too longfor an ordinary hyphen. Moreover, the spacing is wrong.
$\mathit{non-unique}$
non 
unique
$\mathrm{non-unique}$
non
unique
$A_{\mathit{non-unique}}$
A
non 
unique
\boldmath $A_{\mathit{non-unique}}$
A
non 
unique
Bad: using mboxes
Putting the hyphen into an mbox improves the situation: the length of thehyphen as well as the spacing is correct. However, size and font don’t changewith the surrounding math.
$\mathit{non\mbox{-}unique}$
non 
-
unique
$\mbox{non-unique}$
non-unique
$\mathrm{non\mbox{-}unique}$
non-unique
$A_{\mathit{non\mbox{-}unique}}$
A
non 
-
unique
\boldmath$A_{\mbox{non-unique}}$
A
non-unique
Good: defining a mathchar
To obtain a proper hyphen that changes with the surrounding math we definea new math character:1

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