How to display backslash(\) and forward slash(/) in LaTeX document?

We may need backslash and (forward)slash characters while creating documents.

Backslash character is used at the beginning of any command, meaning this character indicates a LaTeX command, so this character cannot be printed directly in LaTeX.

And it is possible to print the forward slash character directly but it may cause some problems.

In this tutorial, we will discuss all methods of printing backslash and slash characters in LaTeX documents.

Backslash(\) in LaTeX

Because the backslash indicates a LaTeX command, you cannot print this character directly into a document.

There are several commands that you can use to print this character in a document, some of which work in text mode and some in math mode.

Backslash in text mode

LaTeX provides a default command to print this character in text mode, which is \textbackslash.

You can also print this character in a LaTeX document using the \symbol{92} command from the \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} package and, this command works in both text mode and math mode of LaTeX.

\usepackage{amssymb} % for \longrightarrow
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc} % for \symbol{92} 
  \verb|a\symbol{92} b|\longrightarrow a\symbol{92}b \\[4pt]
  \verb|a\textbackslash b|\longrightarrow a\textbackslash b

Output :

Use backslash in text mode.

Backslash in math mode

There are two default commands for using the backslash character in LaTeX’s math mode, \backslash and \setminus.

Besides, the amssymb package provides two commands which are \smallsetminus and \diagdown. The following table lists the commands along with their outputs.

Package command and output
amssymb \smallsetminusBack slash using \smallsetminus.
amssymb \diagdownBack slash using \diagdown.
None \backslashBack slash using \backslash.
None \setminusBack slash using \setminus.

LaTeX provides a command called \verb|..|. The function of this command is that if you write any command or character in it |..|, it will not compile and print it directly to the document.

But the font will be slightly different in the output. You can also use this to print the backslash character in the document.

\usepackage{amssymb} % for \longrightarrow
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc} % for \symbol{92}, \smallsetminus, \diagdown
  \[ \verb|a\backslash b|\longrightarrow a\backslash b \]
  \[ \verb|a\setminus b|\longrightarrow a\setminus b \]
  \[ \verb|a\symbol{92} b|\longrightarrow a\symbol{92}b \]
  \[ \verb|a\smallsetminus b|\longrightarrow a\smallsetminus b \]
  \[ \verb|a\diagdown b|\longrightarrow a\diagdown b \]

Output :

Use backslash in math mode.

Forward slash(/) in LaTeX

You can print the slash character directly to the document, but the problem here is that if you write it like this village/city, it will never split even though they are two separate words.

In other words, if at the end of a line, there is a space like a word between these two words, then the whole village/city  will move to the next line rather than split or stay on the same line, which can spoil the look of the paragraph.

To overcome this problem LaTeX provides a default command which is \slash.

With this command you can print this character in a LaTeX document and there will be no word splitting problem. And you can use it in both math mode and text mode.

You can achieve anything. It doesn't matter if you are from a small city/village. You can definitely do it.
You can definitely do it. It doesn't matter if you are from a small city\slash village.

Output :

Use / and \slash command in latex.

There are also two other commands that let you print the slash character to the document.

They are \textfractionsolidus command from textcomp package that you can use in both text mode and math mode, and the \diagup command from the amssymb package that only works in math mode.

  \[ \verb|a/b|\longrightarrow a/b \]
  \[ \verb|a\slash b|\longrightarrow a\slash b \]
  \[ \verb|a\textfractionsolidus b|\longrightarrow a\textfractionsolidus b \]
  \[ \verb|a\diagup b|\longrightarrow a\diagup b \]

Output :

Use forward slash in latex.

Md Jidan Mondal

LaTeX expert with over 10 years of experience in document preparation and typesetting. Specializes in creating professional documents, reports, and presentations using LaTeX.

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