Letter alpha in Math

I need to write a alpha in Math. I don’t like %alpha because the lines at the right are to short. When I print it in a small font size, I’am afraid people will not recognize it as an alpha but as an ‘a’. And don’t see a difference to %ialpha.

Are there better possibilities?

Thanx for your help!

P.S.: I’m using Arial as font in the text and in the equations.


(edit: activated screenshot)

And why not insert a plain Greek alpha?

You mean a normal character which is not inside a equation?

I tried this but the problem with the short lines is even worth.

What are those short lines? Share a sample file.

Why have you changed OpenSymbol Math default? Alpha in OpenSymbol looks to me better: a bit taller and wider with a clearer “eye” and more distinctive “tails”, notably the lower one; globally more like an “o” with decorations.

I don’t see the difference. Do you? Look to my file. I made a screenshot.

There is no difference in your formulas OpenSymbol/Arial because you didn’t change the font in Math. Both are displayed in OpenSymbol.

You can however improve legibility of tour formula by adjusting padding space above and below it (I find Math computes too strict a bounding box which frequently clips glyph extensions).

In Math, Format>Spacing and select Category Borders There you can give some “breathing” to your formula: I set Toip and Bottom to 0.10 which reveals more of the top shape. Experiment to find the optimal improvement.

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The “metasymbols” or %-tokens in Math are defined with both character id and font, which ensures that the same glyph is displayed every time. In other words, those symbols override the font selections you have made.

It is possible to change font, symbol by symbol, to your liking. See Tools - Symbols.

The downside to this approach is that it is application wide (will be imposed on all your old and new documents) and application local (will not follow your document if you share it with other users). It is therefore advisable to create your own symbol tokens instead of editing the predefined set.

Also, the behavior of the token editor is a bit erratic (or “not intuitive” at least). Help pages may take you a part of the way.

By default, Math uses OpenSymbol for Greek characters called by the code %name or %iname, not text font of your choice. But you can easily use the text font also for Greek by just entering the correct Unicode character. Notice that you can enter the Greek characters in Writer (:alpha: gives α, :beta: gives β, etc.), select the resulting text in Writer and then go to Insert → Object → Formula to convert that text in a formula. In fact, that’s how I use Math: I write the formula in Writer, not in the Math editor, and then convert the text into a formula.