I have encountered a very strange, L like letter that I couldn't found in the ASCII table, nor in the Greek alphabet. Do you have any idea what this could be, and what its name is? I would like to type it.

equation with the fancy L as a variable


That character is SCRIPT CAPITAL L (Unicode U+2112), usually seen in by documents typeset with LaTeX for Laplace transforms or Lagrangian mechanics.

\mathcal{L} results in: \mathcal{L}.

In macOS, the closest you'd get is searching for the character L in the Character Viewer (option+command+space) and looking under Related Characters for SCRIPT CAPITAL L.

It's included in the STIX set of fonts, which comes with MacOS since OS X Lion.

Copying the character results in: ℒ

  • 1
    The only font (on my system) with a non-convoluted ℒ is Cambria Math (here the bold version: 𝓛).
    – klanomath
    Apr 4 '20 at 23:43
  • 2
    \mathcal uses Computer Modern (CM) calligraphic (or CM calligraphic-bold, depending on settings elsewhere). To get these "from the horse's mouth", ctan.org/texarchive/fonts/cm/ps-type1/bakoma/ttf and look for cmsy*.ttf (or cmbsy*.ttf for bold), where * is a one or two digit number for the target font size. Apr 5 '20 at 5:50

Another option is to go to system preferences > keyboard > input sources and add "Unicode Hex Input" you can toggle the "show input sources in menu bar", or bind it to a keyboard shortcut. Then, when you want to type it, hold option while typing 2112, and the L will be typed. You could also configure it in Automator with the recording function and add that to a keyboard shortcut or on the menu bar.


Check out this font: Lucida Calligra https://www.dafontfree.net/freefonts-lucida-calligra-f133249.htm

  • Good call on knowing an alternate font face. The types Apple ships all make the L very curvalicious.
    – bmike
    Apr 4 '20 at 17:17
  • 1
    @bmike Cheers and I didn't knew that about the stock fonts. 👍🏼
    – Hapot
    Apr 4 '20 at 19:16
  • When I try to add this font to the fonts I already have on my Mac via Font Book after downloading it, I get the warning "1 serious error was found. Do not use this font." If I continue, then I get the warning "Serious problems were found with these fonts and may cause system problems or even crashes if installed." I did not go beyond the second warning and therefore did not add the font. However, I noticed before trying to add this fond that I had Lucida Calligraphy already installed on my Mac (macOS 10.13.6).
    – Alper
    Apr 5 '20 at 18:15
  • @Alper Oh! The errors sounds serious :) Have a look at this font manager (fontba.se). It's free and you can enable/disable fonts to improve system performance, specially if you have a lot of them.
    – Hapot
    Apr 6 '20 at 0:27

Apple products have good support for Unicode. Here is the math block since that looks like a equation:

Getting these edited in is usually easy one you know what character you seek:

This may be a “Where’s Waldo” situation if you can’t find a type or font face that blocks the L instead of making it cursive/calligraphic.


It's Unicode U+2112. It's included in the STIX set of fonts, which comes with MacOS.

  • Might need to edit this into the selected answer...
    – bmike
    Apr 4 '20 at 17:56

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