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I am trying to display vectors as bold and italic. The command \mathbf sets the letters non-italic. I also googled a bit and stumbled upon \mathbf{\em y} or \mathbfit{y}, which all didn't work.

I hope someone can help me on this.

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I've marked your inline code with backticks `. (You don't have to sign with your name since it automatically appears in the lower right corner of your post.) –  Hendrik Vogt Mar 28 '11 at 8:30
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3 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

It depends on the math font, but the bm package can handle most of them. The usage is then $\bm{y}$

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It does! Thanks :) –  Alexx Hardt Mar 28 '11 at 8:24
    
This works. But it is not working within multicolumn environment like the following case, \multicolumn{2}{c}{$\bm{a\:(\si{\angstrom})}$} but it works for \multicolumn{2}{c}{$\bm{\alpha_T\; (K^{-1})}$}. How to solve this? –  cosmicraga Sep 12 '13 at 5:30
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There is also \boldsymbol{} from the package amsbsy (loaded by amsmath). See \bm package versus \boldsymbol for a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of each command.

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The answer depends on the math fonts you are actually using. For the standard fonts and as long as you use only letters and numbers this should work:

\documentclass{scrartcl}
\DeclareMathAlphabet      {\mathbfit}{OML}{cmm}{b}{it}

\begin{document}
$a=\mathbfit{a}$
\end{document}
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