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23.1 Reserved characters

LaTeX sets aside the following characters for special purposes. For example, the percent sign % is for comments. They are called reserved characters or special characters.

# $ % & { } _ ~ ^ \ 

If you want a reserved character to be printed as itself, in the text body font, for all but the final three characters in that list simply put a backslash \ in front of the character. Thus, typing \$1.23 will produce $1.23 in your output.

As to the last three characters, to get a tilde in the text body font use \~{} (omitting the curly braces would result in the next character receiving a tilde accent). Similarly, to get a get a text body font circumflex use \^{}. To get a backslash in the font of the text body, enter \textbackslash{}.

To produce the reserved characters in a typewriter font use \verb!! as below (the double backslash \\ is only there to split the lines).

\begin{center}
  \# \$ \% \& \{ \} \_ \~{} \^{} \textbackslash \\
  \verb!# $ % & { } _ ~ ^ \!
\end{center}

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