In this code:

```
\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}
\begin{equation}
c = a b
\end{equation}
\end{document}
```

I would like to insert a space between 'a' and 'b' (as opposed to `\cdot`

or `\times`

). Usually, I just write a simple backslash:

```
c = a \ b
```

This seems to produce the same spacing as:

```
c = a \; b
```

Is there a difference? What kind of spacing do you recommend to use for multiplication: `\`

` (backslash) or `

`\,`

(backslash comma) or `\:`

(backslash colon) or `\;`

(backslash semicolon) or some other spacing?

## Best Answer

Use

no spacebetween terms that are multiplied. Sois the correct way of typing the formula. In case you have

TeX takes care of the spacing and automatically inserts a thin space (equivalent to

`\,`

): you have to do nothing at all except using the right command (`\log`

for the logarithm).Note that spaces in math formulas are ignored, so

produces the same result as $c=ab$.

About the differences among the various commands:

`\`

(backslash space) inserts a normal interword space; use it for separating terms in an equation, but in general it shouldn't be used in math`\,`

inserts a thin space, the same that's automatically inserted in`$a\log b$`

both after`a`

and`\log`

`\:`

is the same spacing that's automatically inserted around the`+`

sign in`$a+b$`

(or, in general, around binary operation symbols)`\;`

is the same spacing that's automatically inserted around the`=`

sign in`$a=b$`

(or, in general, around binary relation symbols)In some cases it's good to add an explicit spacing, for instance in

because of the high ell that goes in the corner of the radical. But such manual adjustments are rarely needed.