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Re: Single character in Italics. Ervin Doyle;

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  • Subject: [mg14692] Re: [mg14664] Single character in Italics. Ervin Doyle;
  • From: Jurgen Tischer <jtischer at>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 21:15:49 -0500
  • Organization: Universidad del Valle
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Hi Ervin,
have a look at Help, SingleLetterItalics to see when it happens and how
to avoid it. As to your question why it happens: It's a tradition in
mathematical typesetting to use italics for names of variables in
formulas (Knuth developed a special math italic font for that use).
Since variables mostly are given single letter names, it's reasonable
to suppose it could be welcome by the user to have this as a build-in
feature. If you want to know more about math typesetting I recommend
"The TEXbook" by Donald E. Knuth, especially chapter 16 and above.


"Ervin F. Doyle" wrote:
> Hello:
> I recently purchased Mathematica 3.0.1. When I type a single character
> like "a" it comes out in italics. However, when I type two or more
> characters like "ad" or "abc" I get the characters in bold face. This
> italic single character appears when I'm setting up equations like f
> := ... or g = ....Is there a reason for this? Do I have to use
> double characters  in my definitions etc. to avoid the italics when  I
> don't want them.
> Thanks Ervin Doyle

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