# [XeTeX] Font variant selection in Fontspec/Mathspec options incomplete

Christian Schmidt c.schmidt at dlgs.ioer.de
Sat Nov 13 12:49:40 CET 2010

Hi Ross,

>> Though, this leads me to the additional note, that in math mode---which
>> is typically set in italics---, the use of \mathbf{x} does not produce
>> a bold italic variant but rather only a bold upright variant of x in
>> this case.

> This is the way it has always been in LaTeX.
> It should not be changed, else this will affect millions of existing
> documents.

I wasn't aware about this issue. In normal text mode, italic and bold font
selections work complementary... so I expected the same behavior in math
mode too. I can't really understand these differing approaches.

>> If I use the \pmb{x} or \bm{x} commands instead for instance, XeLaTeX
>> produces a bold italic looking variant of the letter x. In closer
>> inspection, however, the bold italic x is nothing else than a normal
>> italic x superimposed on another one with a slight offset...

> Yes. This is a hack to compensate for lack of math fonts.
> This kind of thing should no longer be necessary with proper OTF math
> fonts, but you need new macros to refer to the desired characters.
> This is what Unicode-math and math spec are for. They completely rewrite
> how LaTeX handles mathematics with such fonts. It is a massive job, not
> yet completed.

I already had a look at the Unicode-math package, but as I understood is
it used instead of Mathspec, which however would provide better
customization I think.

>> Is there a way to use the regular \mathbf{...} command to have bold
>> italic math?

> Isn't there a command \mathbfit or similar spelling?

Thanks a lot for this hint. Even after "googling" for bold fonts in math
before I haven't come across this command. I tried it out and it totally
works! :)

> But better is to define a macro for the concepts that require use of
> such bold symbols;
> E.g.  \newcommand{\xx}{\mathbfit{x}}and use these within the body of
> your document.

Yeah, I might do that.

> Hope this helps,

>        Ross

Absolutely.

Thanks a lot for the help.

Pinfeng


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