by Sarawut Positwinyu
Last Updated January 14, 2018 13:16 PM

In mathematics, the operators provided on keyboard are quite clear for addition, subtraction and divide: `+ - /`

.

The multiplication sign `*`

might be familiar as the multiplication for programmer, but I'm not sure about ordinary user. I don't know if I should use `*`

or `x`

for multiplication.

The purpose is to provide user detail of how each field will be used:

One drawback I can think of is if using `x`

might rely on font face and if user changes the font, `x`

might not be appear like multiplication sign.

Also, by the standard `*`

(asterisk) should be used to multiplication, but
I'm not sure about its readability.

It's a shame that I found the solution after posting my own question.
So I will just share it there. Wikipedia recommends using The HTML entity `×`

which will be resulted in × for multiplication:

It would certainly be a mistake to use the letter `x`

as the multiplication symbol as `x`

itself often denotes an algebraic term:

e.g. compare

x x y = c

`x x y = c`

vs

x × y = c

`x × y = c`

The `×`

or `×`

or `&#D7;`

character looks like this: × so it is a proper cross, as opposed to the letter `x`

(ex) or `*`

(asterisk) symbols which are a lazy approach and don't create symmetrical symbols about the major axes.

The `×`

version is simply the friendly version of the same code.

For additional reference, for *divide* you can also use `÷`

or `÷`

to get ÷

For *minus* you might expect to use direct from the normal key, but there is a separate code for that too `−`

− which aligns it vertically with the keyboard plus symbol, so you get ( −+ `−+`

) instead of the keyboard minus and plus, which may not be aligned depending on the font ( -+ `-+`

).

You can get the plus/minus via `±`

or `±`

± .

There is another Wikipedia entry for the symbol itself, which currently consists of the information below:

(sorry, this is an image - so links are not real!)

Compare:

`x x y = c`

- Bad for obvious reasons

`x × y = c`

- Also bad, but less so. It looks like `(x^x)*y`

(x raised to the x, times y)

`x * y = c`

- I would consider this the obvious choice, especially since using dot for multiplication is standard for Pre-Algebra and beyond. (Roughly age 13 or 14 and older in the US)

In addition to all of the other pro voices for *, the numeric keypad on my keyboard has a * for times. That's another argument, IMO, for using it.

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