[OS X TeX] Improper alphabetic constant

Herbert Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Fri Dec 18 08:08:35 EST 2020

> On Dec 18, 2020, at 1:48 AM, Alain Schremmer <schremmer.alain at freemathtexts.org> wrote:
> $\xrightarrow{5}$ and \boldsymbol{$5$} both compile but \boldsymbol{$\xrightarrow{5}$} does not.
> The error is:
> 2.tex:1309: Improper alphabetic constant.
> <to be read again> 
>                    \reserved at d 
> l.1309 \boldsymbol{$\xrightarrow{5}$}
> Any way around it?


Are you sure \boldsymbol{$5$} compiles? I believe the \boldsymbol needs to be in math mode so $\boldsymbol{5}$ and $\boldsymbol{\xrightarrow{5}}$ work fine.

As a side note you should get used to \(...\) instead of $...$ for inline math (and \[...\] instead of $$...$$ if you use that for display math).

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
herbs at wideopenwest.com

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