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Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg111941] Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at wolfram.com>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 07:06:49 -0400 (EDT)

Such symbols do exist in Unicode, actually.  See here...

http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1D400.pdf

It's not unreasonable to suggest that Mathematica should support them.  It' s
even possible that there might be fonts out there which have these characters
right now, although given that the characters are in plane 1 of Unicode and
Mathematica does not directly support characters outside of Unicode plane 0,
it'd be tricky to access them.

It's certainly also possible that you could create a notation which includes
certain style information.  I won't use Bold here because most fonts generally
don't support any more Bold than the Input bold, but I'll do the same thing with
a color (or you could choose Italic, a different font family, or whatever):

SetOptions[EvaluationNotebook[],
 InputAliases -> {"aa" ->
    InterpretationBox["a", GreenA,
     BaseStyle -> {FontColor -> RGBColor[0, 1, 0],
       ShowSyntaxStyles -> False}]}]

MakeBoxes[GreenA, StandardForm] :==
 InterpretationBox["a", GreenA,
  BaseStyle -> {FontColor -> RGBColor[0, 1, 0],
    ShowSyntaxStyles -> False}]

Use Esc-aa-Esc to enter the character.  It interprets as the Global` variable
GreenA.  Quite possibly the Notation palette would allow you to do this more
simply...I'm not very well versed with it, though, so couldn't speak to that.

Sincerely,

John Fultz
jfultz at wolfram.com
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.


On Thu, 19 Aug 2010 07:20:58 -0400 (EDT), telefunkenvf14 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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