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Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?

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  • Subject: [mg111944] Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?
  • From: Simon <simonjtyler at>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 07:07:22 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <i4j42j$qtq$>

Hi Ryan,

You could try something like

bf /: MakeBoxes[bf[i_String], fmt_] :=
 InterpretationBox[StyleBox[i, Bold], bf[i]]

Then bf["a"] will return a bold "a".
If you select bf["a"] and press Ctrl-Shift-N for normal form, then it
will display as the bold "a".
The inverse is to press Ctrl-Shift-I for input form.

I'm using this type of thing for quite a few of my calculations at the
moment, where I have spinor[__] objects etc...
I originally stole this from Rolf Mertig's


On Aug 19, 9:20 pm, telefunkenvf14 <rgo... at> wrote:
> Group:
> What follows is a suggestion. Maybe someone can explain a way to
> implement it in v7. Otherwise, consider it an idea for future versions
> of Mathematica.
> In economics, we commonly use subscripted variables to refer to, say,
> the ith individual or jth firm, etc. (BTW, wish it was easier to use
> subscripted variables, but thats not the main issue I want to
> address.) To minimize notational clutter, it's common to then use
> *bold* fonts to indicate vectors of these variables---this is what I'd
> like to be able to do in Mathematica.
> Based on my current understanding, this may NOT be very
> straightforward to implement...
> As we all know, the front end displays code in bold by default. But
> (of course) these bolded characters aren't represented as
> fundamentally different raw characters, which means a bold variable is
> the same to Mathematica as its unbolded counterpart.
> Would it be feasible to define a new, expanded character set that
> includes bolded character codes? Assuming the default display options
> are in effect, the front end would then need to double-bold their
> appearance. (don't know if there is such a term as 'double bold', but
> you get the idea)
> -RG
> PS -- I know I'll get suggestions to use the double-struck or fancy
> scripted characters. While useful at times, I find that referring to
> different characters makes lecture notes, etc., more of a pain to
> write-up and less clear (when trying to explain results from a
> textbook). IMO, *bold* is just easier.

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