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My question is similar to Bold math: Automatic choice between \mathbf and \boldsymbol for Latin and Greek symbols?, yet slightly different. My non-compilable minimal example is the following one:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\newcommand{\tensor}[1]{if latin alphabet \mathbb{#1} else \mathbf{#1}}
\begin{document}
$\tensor{A}$ $\tensor{\Lambda}$
\end{document}

Is what is suggested achievable? From the example below, I understand that there is no efficient switch at this time between Latin and Greek math alphabets if one uses pdflatex. I also understand that one solution would be to switch to lualatex where Latin and Greek alphabets are handled differently.

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You could conceivably check for containment in a token list with expl3 syntax. I'll write something up soon—my emacs is modal when it updates packages. –  Sean Allred Mar 16 at 17:21
3  
Untested: \ifcat\noexpand#1\relax\mathbbgr{#1}\else\mathbb{#1}\fi. Since Greek letters are called with control sequences, while Latin letters are called by themselves, this might work. Of course \tensor{AB} would fail: only one token should be in the argument to \tensor. –  egreg Mar 16 at 17:22
    
@egreg Fancy (and functional)! Although this might break for Latin letters that are called by cs. –  Sean Allred Mar 16 at 17:25

2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

I don't have the mtpro2 fonts, so I'll use a different choice of fonts.

The idea is that Latin letters are called by themselves (that is, characters), while Greek letters are called by control sequences. So

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{bm}
\newcommand\tensor[1]{%
  \ifcat\noexpand#1\relax % check if the argument is a control sequence
    \bm{#1}% probably Greek
  \else
    \textsf{#1}% single character
  \fi
}

\begin{document}
$\tensor{X}\tensor{\Lambda}$
\end{document}

enter image description here

Limitation. Only one token should be given as argument to \tensor. Either \tensor{AB} or \tensor{A\Lambda} or any multiple token variation thereof would fail.


A multitoken macro based on the same idea:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xparse}
\usepackage{bm}

\ExplSyntaxOn
\NewDocumentCommand\tensor{m}
 {
  \pluton_tensor:n { #1 }
 }

\cs_new_protected:Npn \pluton_tensor:n #1
 {
  \tl_map_inline:nn { #1 }
   {
    \token_if_cs:NTF ##1 { \bm { ##1 } } { \textsf { ##1 } }
   }
 }
\ExplSyntaxOff
\begin{document}
$\tensor{X}\tensor{\Lambda}$

$\tensor{X\Lambda}$
\end{document}

Of course this will still fail if arbitrary input is used.

A perhaps more robust version, with a fallback for unknown tokens.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xparse}
\usepackage{bm}

\ExplSyntaxOn
\NewDocumentCommand\tensor{m}
 {
  \pluton_tensor:n { #1 }
 }

\cs_new_protected:Npn \pluton_tensor:n #1
 {
  \tl_map_inline:nn { #1 }
   {
    \pluton_tensor_inner:n { ##1 }
   }
 }

\cs_new_protected:Npn \pluton_tensor_inner:n #1
 {
  \tl_if_in:VnTF \g_pluton_latin_tl { #1 }
   {
    \textsf { #1 } % a Latin letter
   }
   {
    \tl_if_in:VnTF \g_pluton_greek_tl { #1 }
     {
      \bm { #1 } % a Greek letter
     }
     {
      #1 % fall back
     }
   }
 }

\tl_new:N \g_pluton_latin_tl
\tl_new:N \g_pluton_greek_tl
\tl_gset:Nn \g_pluton_latin_tl
 {
  ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
  abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
 }
\tl_gset:Nn \g_pluton_greek_tl
 {
  \Gamma\Delta\Theta\Lambda\Pi\Sigma\Upsilon\Phi\Chi\Psi\Omega
 }

\ExplSyntaxOff
\begin{document}
$\tensor{X}\tensor{\Lambda}$

$\tensor{X\Lambda}$
\end{document}
share|improve this answer

If you wanted something more flexible, perhaps this can be of use in the future:

\documentclass{book}
\usepackage{expl3,xparse}
\ExplSyntaxOn
\keys_define:nn { pluton / tensor } {
  latin          .tl_set:N = \pluton_tensor_latin_tl,
  greek          .tl_set:N = \pluton_tensor_greek_tl,
  latin-alphabet .tl_set:N = \pluton_tensor_latin_alphabet_tl,
  greek-alphabet .tl_set:N = \pluton_tensor_greek_alphabet_tl,
}
\cs_new:Nn \pluton_tensor:n {
  \tl_if_in:NnTF \pluton_tensor_latin_alphabet_tl { #1 } {
    \pluton_tensor_latin_tl { #1 }
  } {
    \tl_if_in:NnT \pluton_tensor_greek_alphabet_tl { #1 } {
      \pluton_tensor_greek_tl { #1 }
    }
  }
}
\NewDocumentCommand \tensor { O{} m } {
  \group_begin:
  \keys_set:nn { pluton / tensor } {
    latin-alphabet = abcdefhijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
                     ABCDEFHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ,
    greek-alphabet = \alpha\beta\delta\epsilon
                     \phi\gamma\eta\iota\theta
                     \kappa\lambda\mu\nu\pi\chi
                     \rho\sigma\tau\omega\xi\psi\xi
                     \Alpha\Beta\Delta\Epsilon  % capitals; some of
                     \Phi\Gamma\Eta\Iota\Theta  % these *definitely*
                     \Kappa\Lambda\Mu\Nu\Pi\Chi % aren't defined, but
                     \Rho\Sigma\Tau\Omega\Xi\Psi\Xi, % emacs helps :)
    latin = \mathbf,
    greek = \mathrm,
    #1
  }
  \pluton_tensor:n { #2 }
  \group_end:
}
\ExplSyntaxOff
\begin{document}
$\tensor{A}$ $\tensor{\Lambda}$
\end{document}
share|improve this answer
    
This looks very nice, even though I am not familiar with expl3. Thanks. –  pluton Mar 16 at 18:31

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