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Suggestion [itex]\LaTeX[/itex] request

  1. Sep 12, 2011 #1

    Hootenanny

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    Would is be possible to change the default style for vectors from over-arrows ([itex]\vec{x}[/itex]) to bold-face ([itex]\boldsymbol{x}[/itex])? The latter is much easier on the eyes, looks less cluttered and is favoured by most publications (at least the ones I read).

    If it were a [itex]\LaTeX[/itex] document, it would be very easy to implement using the \renewcommand command. However, is the same possible with Mathjax?
     
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  3. Sep 12, 2011 #2

    K^2

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    Bold-face is used in publication primarily because it used to be significantly easier to typeset. These days, it isn't nearly as much of an issue, so more and more texts using over-arrow are popping up.

    It doesn't really matter, as long as context clarifies notation, but the one reason I'd object to this change is because it will mess up any previously written posts using both notations to distinguish between 3-space and 4-space vectors, which might be a big chunk of the threads in relativity sub-section.

    Besides, people who prefer bold-face already use it. And people who prefer over-arrow will continue using it. Simply switching the default behavior of \vec won't really convince either, and so isn't worth any confusion that might arise.
     
  4. Sep 12, 2011 #3

    Hootenanny

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    Fair enough, that's a good enough reason for me!

    I know, but \boldsymbol is soooo much longer than \vec :wink:
     
  5. Sep 12, 2011 #4

    Ben Niehoff

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    You don't need to write \boldsymbol. \mathbf{x} works ("math-bold-font").
     
  6. Sep 12, 2011 #5

    Hootenanny

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    Unfortunately, not for symbols :frown:

    Code (Text):
    [tex]\mathbf{\xi}[/tex]
    [tex]\mathbf{\xi}[/tex]
    Code (Text):
    [tex]\boldsymbol{\xi}[/tex]
    [tex]\boldsymbol{\xi}[/tex]
     
  7. Sep 12, 2011 #6

    robphy

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    If you were writing, you could make a macro.

    Code (Text):

    [tex]
    \def\VEC{\boldsymbol}

    \VEC{\xi}
    [/tex]

     
    [tex]\def\VEC{\boldsymbol}

    \VEC{\xi}[/tex]

    For intro students, I think it's better for them to see the arrowhead
    since I doubt they'll write vectors in boldface, like some of their textbooks do. :(
    [Maybe the trend is reversing.]

    My 2[itex]c \hspace{-1ex}/[/itex].
     
  8. Sep 12, 2011 #7

    D H

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    As Hoot (welcome back!) already noted, \mathbf doesn't work on symbols. It also doesn't work quite right on the letter 'a', and it isn't in italics.

    {\mathbf a} versus {\boldsymbol a}:
    [tex]{\mathbf a}\, \text{versus}\, {\boldsymbol a}[/tex]

    Personally, I like un-italicized, capital letters in \mathbf for matrices, italicized \boldsymbol for vectors:

    {\boldsymbol u} = {\mathbf T}{\boldsymbol x}
    [tex]{\boldsymbol u} = {\mathbf T}{\boldsymbol x}[/tex]
     
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