Special Characters and Symbols in LaTeX

Following is the way to use special characters and symbols while creating a document using LaTeX:



Symbol/Character Way to get it in LaTeX
Quotation Marks two ` (grave accent) for opening quotation marks.
two ‘ (vertical quote) for closing quotation marks.

Dashes and Hyphens L TEX knows four kinds of dashes. Access three of them with different number
of consecutive dashes. The fourth sign is actually not a dash at all—it is the
mathematical minus sign.
The names for these dashes are: ‘-’ hyphen, ‘–’ en-dash, ‘—’ em-dash
and ‘−’ minus sign.

Examples of each are shown below:

  • daughter-in-law —-> daughter-in-law
  • pages 13–67 —-> pages 13–67
  • yes—or no? —-> yes—or no?
  • $0$, $1$ and $-1$ —-> 0, 1 and −1
Tilde (∼) $\sim$demo
Slash (/) \slash
Degree Symbol (◦)

The textcomp package makes the degree symbol also available as \textdegree
or in combination with the C by using the \textcelsius.

The Euro Currency Symbol


NOTE: its available in textcomp package

Ellipsis (. . . )

On a typewriter, a comma or a period takes the same amount of space as
any other letter. In book printing, these characters occupy only a little space
and are set very close to the preceding letter. Therefore, entering ‘ellipsis’
by just typing three dots would produce the wrong result. Instead, there is
a special command for these dots. It is called



Some letter combinations are typeset not just by setting the different letters
one after the other, but by actually using special symbols.

These so-called ligatures can be prohibited by inserting an \mbox{} between
the two letters in question. This might be necessary with words built from
two words.

1 \Large Not shelfful\\
2 but shelf\mbox{}ful

1.Not shelfful
2. but shelfful

Basic LaTex document classes

Document Class Name Usage/meaning
 article for articles in scientific journals, presentations, short reports, pro-
gram documentation, invitations, . . .
 proc  a class for proceedings based on the article class.
 minimal is as small as it can get. It only sets a page size and a base font. It
is mainly used for debugging purposes.
 report  for longer reports containing several chapters, small books, PhD
theses, . . .
 book  for real books
 slides   for slides. The class uses big sans serif letters. You might want to
consider using the Beamer class instead.

Advantages and Disadvantages of LaTex

The main advantages of LaTeX over normal word processors are the following:

  •   Professionally crafted layouts are available, which make a document really look as if “printed.”
  •   The typesetting of mathematical formulae is supported in a convenient way.
  •   Users only need to learn a few easy-to-understand commands that specify the logical structure of a document. They almost never need to tinker with the actual layout of the document.
  •   Even complex structures such as footnotes, references, table of contents, and bibliographies can be generated easily.
  •   Free add-on packages exist for many typographical tasks not directly supported by basic L TEX. For example, packages are available to include PostScript graphics or to typeset bibliographies conforming to exact standards.
  •   LaTeX encourages authors to write well-structured texts, because this is how L TEX works—by specifying structure.TEX, the formatting engine of LaTeX 2ε , is highly portable and free. Therefore the system runs on almost any hardware platform available.

The main dis-advantages of LaTeX over normal word processors are the following:

  • LaTeX does not work well for people who have sold their souls . . .
  •  Although some parameters can be adjusted within a predefined document layout, the design of a whole new layout is difficult and takes a
  • lot of time.
  •  It is very hard to write unstructured and disorganized documents.
  •  Your hamster might, despite some encouraging first steps, never be able to fully grasp the concept of Logical Markup.