TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

If I have a line of text, how do I make just the first word bold?

I tried this:

\bf{NTn} = Number of lines

but it made the entire line bold.

share|improve this question
Use \textbf{Some text in bold}. – Ali Mehrizi May 16 '12 at 5:16
\bf is an outdated font switch, not a macro with an argument, i.e. itr works to the end of the group. You would need to use {\bf NTn} instead, but should not use the font commands any longer. Use \textbf{..} or {\bfseries ..} instead. – Martin Scharrer May 16 '12 at 7:45
up vote 19 down vote accepted

You should not use \bf. Instead use {\bfseries ....}.


{\bfseries NTn} = Number of lines

$\mathbf{NTn} + \boldsymbol{\pi} + \pmb{\pi} $ = Number of lines.

\verb|\boldsymbol| and \verb|\pmb| are provided by \verb|amsmath| package. Note that \verb|\mathbf| has no effect on symbols like $+$ or $-$ or $\pi$ etc.


enter image description here

However, it is better to use \bm from bm package for such needs which gives correct results.

share|improve this answer
Thanks, but what if I need to bold the following: $NT_n$ ? {\bfseries $NT_n$} doesn't work..... – ngramsky May 16 '12 at 5:16
@ngramsky, for math mode, use `\mathbf{e^{j\pi}=-1}'. – Ali Mehrizi May 16 '12 at 5:22
For bolding math you can use \boldmath, \boldsymbol or \pmb. For mor details see here – adn May 16 '12 at 5:23
@ngramsky: see the edited answer. – Harish Kumar May 16 '12 at 5:29
@HarishKumar I stumbled upon this answer and find it very wrong. For instance \boldmath works just by chance and throws warnings; \boldsymbol is deprecated and \bm (from the bm package) should be used. – egreg Nov 2 '14 at 10:14

For regular, bold and italics math, use the bm package:

enter image description here

\usepackage{bm}% http://ctan.org/pkg/bm
$NTn=\bm{NTn}=\mbox{Number of lines}$
share|improve this answer

this works for me

share|improve this answer
This answer is very short and does not provide some new solution – Christian Hupfer Nov 2 '14 at 9:34
Actually, \textbf was only mentioned in comments. – lockstep Nov 2 '14 at 10:51

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.