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How to Write the Plus/Minus Sign in LaTeX Full Guide of 2023

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How do you write the plus/minus sign in latexAre you a mathematician, physicist, or chemist looking for the most efficient way to write the plus/minus sign in LaTeX? The pm command inside math mode is all it takes to generate this symbol. But if you want more control and customizability over how your symbols appear, there are several options available.

In this article, we will cover using the plus minus symbol in both text and math mode as well as demonstrate different methods for customizing unique symbols.

Key Takeaways

  • LaTeX offers precise control over mathematical notation.
  • Use pm for the ± symbol in math mode.
  • Use mp in math mode for the ∓ symbol.
  • LaTeX’s customization options allow users to adjust symbol thickness and add labels.

Using the Plus Minus Symbol in LaTeX

Using the Plus Minus Symbol in LaTeX
You can typeset the plus/minus sign in LaTeX by using the pm command in math mode. In fact, over 80% of LaTeX documents in scientific publishing rely on this handy notation for indicating standard deviation or uncertainty intervals.

The pm command produces the ± symbol, while its inverse mp gives you ∓. Both work seamlessly in math environments and inline math. Some variations exist, like choosing a bold or large ± for voltage in circuits.

You can even customize the thickness and labels. Overall, pm offers an efficient way to add the plus/minus sign in LaTeX.

How to Write the Plus Minus Symbol in Text Mode

How to Write the Plus Minus Symbol in Text Mode
As a scientist, you’ve likely needed the plus minus sign in your papers and reports. To write ± in text mode rather than math mode in LaTeX, use textpm in your.tex file or pm in the text{} command – this works better than the default behavior of pm in text mode, which yields inconsistent formatting across math packages.

Plus Minus Symbol in Math Mode

We’ll now see how those handy pm and mp commands work when typeset in math mode environments like $...$ or [...].

  1. The pm command produces a ± symbol.
  2. mp gives a ∓ symbol.
  3. Math mode ignores spacing, so no need for {} or escapes.

  4. Great for inline math or displayed equations.

The pm and mp commands enable easy insertion of plus minus symbols in LaTeX math environments.

Plus Minus Symbol in LaTeX Packages

While pm causes math mode headaches, the amsmath package offers relief with its textpm command for seamless integration of ± symbols into paragraphs. By loading amsmath, you gain access to textpm along with other handy symbols. With packages like yhmath, stmaryrd, and wasysym, symbol variations further expand typographic possibilities.

Tweaking line spacing, margins, fonts – tailoring symbols and math to your liking. Careful formatting options and customization bring mathematical beauty to publications.

Customizing the Appearance of the Plus Minus Symbol

Customizing the Appearance of the Plus Minus Symbol
You can customize the appearance of the plus minus symbol in LaTeX. Modifying the thickness of the symbol and adding labels to it are two effective ways to adapt it for your specific needs. First, adjust the stroke using TikZ commands or font packages with bold math characters.

Then, introduce a label with node text positioned relative to the sign. This allows you to highlight the symbol’s meaning while maintaining readability.

Modifying the Thickness of the Symbol

To further customize the plus/minus symbol, you can adjust its thickness by modifying the pm command. For instance, adding usepackage{bm} lets you bold math symbols. Then bm{pm} renders a bolder plus/minus. For even more control, use TikZ to fully customize the symbol’s thickness and style. With the voltage package,

ewcommand{vpm}{tikz draw[ultra thick] (-2pt,0) — (2pt,0);} creates a thick custom voltage sign. Carefully tweaking the TikZ options tailors the symbol precisely for your circuit diagrams or scientific papers. You gain granular control over the plus/minus appearance.

Adding Labels to the Symbol

After making those symbols pop off the page with a thick outline, it’s time to jazz them up by sticking some labels on them like bright stickers on a new Trapper Keeper.

  • Place labels on or beside symbols.
  • Customize font for label style.
  • Align symbols relative to labels.
  • Integrate with TikZ for circuit diagrams.
  • Create stylish voltage symbols with creative labels.

With labels, we can transform those boring old plus/minus signs into true works of art, personalized to your specifications.

Using the Minus Plus Symbol in LaTeX

Using the Minus Plus Symbol in LaTeX
You’ll use mp to create the minus plus symbol (∓) in LaTeX.

Here is an example 5×3 table showing common uses of the mp symbol in LaTeX mathematical expressions:

Expression Rendering Meaning
$mp 10$ ∓ 10 minus OR plus 10
$A mp B$ A ∓ B A minus OR plus B
$mp infty$ ∓ ∞ minus OR plus infinity
$mp pi$ ∓ π minus OR plus pi
$x mp y$ x ∓ y x minus OR plus y

The mp command is essential for mathematical notation and symbol customization in LaTeX. Use it for minus plus signs when typesetting academic work in physics, chemistry, or math. With LaTeX’s precise control, you can render ∓ exactly as needed for research writing.

Benefits of Using LaTeX for Mathematical Notation

Benefits of Using LaTeX for Mathematical Notation
As a scientist, you’ll appreciate how LaTeX enhances mathematical notation. You can easily insert versatile symbols like plus/minus through commands, and even customize unique symbols by modifying font and style.

LaTeX allows you to easily insert mathematical and scientific symbols by using commands. You can also customize the appearance of symbols by modifying the font, style, and more. LaTeX makes it simple to have professional looking math typesetting without having to deal with the tedious details.

Enhanced mathematical notation

By utilizing LaTeX’s typographical control, you can craft enhanced mathematical notation.

  • Create complex notation like integrals, matrices, and fractions with ease.
  • Customize operators and symbols exactly as needed for your work.
  • Achieve elegant results and mathematical precision for any notation.

LaTeX empowers you to customize mathematical symbols and notation. This enables you to craft clear and elegant mathematical expressions. With LaTeX, you can achieve the notational versatility and precision essential for communicating complex scientific ideas.

Versatile symbol usage

You can typeset sophisticated symbols like plus/minus signs by using LaTeX’s versatile pm and mp commands. LaTeX’s symbol versatility empowers your equations with stylish notation. The pm command produces the plus/minus symbol, while mp does minus/plus.

You can customize thickness, labels, and more for the symbols. This mathematical notation drastically simplifies writing equations with operators like the therefore symbol, cross product, and curl.

Customization for unique symbols

Simply outrageous, you can design your own unique symbols like bold voltage symbols in LaTeX by tweaking the font and thickness to your liking. With just a few tweaks to the TeX code, you can adjust the symbol thickness and integrate custom fonts or labels for a unique look.

TikZ integration allows creating custom circuit diagrams with your personalized voltage symbols. The opportunities for customization are endless when you can modify the font and thickness of any symbol in LaTeX.


The plus/minus sign is an essential component of mathematics and science. With LaTeX, it is effortless to write the plus/minus symbol precisely and clearly. The pm and mp commands let you quickly generate the plus and minus symbols, respectively, along with their associated LaTeX packages that permit even greater customization.

For those needing more command over their symbols, bold font and modified characters can be utilized to further tailor the plus/minus symbol’s form. For unique symbols, users can also employ TeX code or TikZ for circuit diagrams.

LaTeX is a robust tool for those working with mathematical notation, providing enhanced notation, versatile symbol use, and customization for unique symbols.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.