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Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?

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  • Subject: [mg111939] Re: Formatting - bold characters as variables?
  • From: Alexei Boulbitch <alexei.boulbitch at>
  • Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2010 07:06:27 -0400 (EDT)

If I understand you correctly, you need a StyleSheet, that would enable you 
to demonstrate on the screen some your lecture notebooks containing Input fields and 
to distinguish between bold and plain fonts in the input in these notebooks, right?

One way would be to modify a StyleSheet for these purposes. In this modified StyleSheet
the Input font may be made plain by default. You can then introduce bold letters
in a usual way (e.g. Ctrl+B+letter_key). You can check that the bold and the plain 
variables are treated by Mathematica on the equal basis. (In fact by applying 
Ctrl+B+letter_key you also may introduce plain letters into the Input field of the 
Default StyleSheet and check this).

If this would be sufficient for your purposes, have in mind a nice and simple 
explanation of David Park of how to modify StyleSheets that you may find here:*

*Have fun, Alexei*


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)


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.

Alexei Boulbitch, Dr. habil.
Senior Scientist
Material Development

ZAE Weiergewan
11, rue Edmond Reuter

Tel: +352 2454 2566
Fax: +352 2454 3566
Mobile: +49 (0) 151 52 40 66 44

e-mail: alexei.boulbitch at


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