TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the difference between math font \xx{} and \mathxx{} where xx=rm, bf, cal?

When I use them it seems that the \xx{} formats all the words after it.

But \mathxx{} formats only what is between brackets {}.

Is this correct?

share|improve this question
What you noted is the cause why \bf, \rm etc. should not be used any longer, but rather \textbf{}, \textrm{} etc. and this will also distinguish them clearly from \mathbf{} etc. as well as text to \math mode, so the answer is yes, it is correct – Christian Hupfer Jul 13 '14 at 14:43
Related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/15361/… – egreg Jul 13 '14 at 14:46
Oh, I forgot: Welcome to TeX.SX – Christian Hupfer Jul 13 '14 at 14:46
Newer versions of the KOMA classes explicitly shipout warnings if the code encounters \bf etc. command, this as tiny remark – Christian Hupfer Jul 13 '14 at 14:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Commands like \bf are obsolete in LaTeX. See, e.g., Always \textrm, never \rm? A counterexample?. Moreover, the proper usage is {\bf your text}, because it is a global switch. In math mode you can use \mathxx or also \textxx. In particular, in the former spaces are omitted, in the latter they behave like in normal text.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.