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In Mathematics, the operator provide on keyboard is quite clear for addition, subtraction and divide as the follow + - /

The multiplication * might be familiar as the multiplication for programmer but i do not sure about ordinary user. I don't know should i use '*' or 'x' for multiplication sign.

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

enter image description here

One drawback i can think of if using x might be rely on font face and if user changing to others font x might not be appear like multiple.

Also, by the standard * (asterik) should be used to multiplication but i don't sure for its readily.

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1  
I always had the impression that "*" was used as a multiplication operator because "•", commonly used in algebra, was hard to find on older (particularly PC) keyboard layouts, but looked similar enough to be interchanged. I am not confident that * is a good multiplication operator for human consumption. –  msanford Nov 15 '11 at 21:11
    
Please don't expect users to actually calculate the rates themselves! (Room Price + Charge) x Net Rate %, ... –  Wousser Nov 16 '11 at 7:50
    
@Wousser That is just a description of how each Apply Type will be used to calculate. The program will do it. –  Sarawut Positwinyu Nov 16 '11 at 11:21
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Why not use ×? –  hippietrail Nov 18 '11 at 14:51
    
@hippietrail at the time i was writing this question. i didn't know that sign existed :) Thanks –  Sarawut Positwinyu Nov 20 '11 at 5:07

4 Answers 4

up vote 44 down vote accepted

It would certainly be a mistake to use the letter x as the multiplication symbol as x itself often denotes an algebraic term:

eg compare

x x y = c

vs

x × y = c

The × or × or &#D7; character looks like this: × so it is a proper cross, as opposed to the letters 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!) enter image description here

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1  
Would be kind of nice if those were the symbols you got when using the keys on the numpad. –  Svish Nov 15 '11 at 12:18
    
@Svish You mean pressing '/' would give you ÷ and pressing '*' would give you ×? –  Kris Harper Nov 15 '11 at 15:06
    
Looks to me like you're raising X to the X then multiplying by Y –  Izkata Nov 15 '11 at 15:08
    
There is a semantic difference for multiplication on non-scalars. For vectors A × B (cross product) is not the same as A ∗ B (dot product). –  zzzzBov Nov 15 '11 at 15:33
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Ah, I never knew there was a Unicode for either the '×' OR '÷' symbol. (Well, TBH i've never really looked). Now I know. –  JonW Nov 15 '11 at 15:37

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:

Multiplication

List_of_XML_and_HTML_character_entity_references

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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)

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4  
x × y = c is not bad, it is very much standard. –  Matt Rockwell Nov 16 '11 at 16:58

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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1  
Absolutely not from a UI point of view. That is only an argument as to why it is easier, not as to why it is better. –  Paul Wagland Nov 17 '11 at 17:38
    
+1 because, as my answer gets into, the asterisk is best used for consistency - from every perspective. An x is only used in gradeschool math, and cross-products. –  Izkata Mar 3 '12 at 20:11

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