While recompiling old documents with XeLaTeX and unicode-math I have run into the two problems:

  1. The amsmath \varGamma...\varOmega macros for slanted uppercase Greek math characters are not defined. A simple \let substitution can at least provide characters, but it does not give the required italic characters with the math-style=TeX option. Some font packages have options to change the default uppercase Greek chars to italics (math-style=ISO equivalent), then the \varGamma... are defined to give upright chars. I would like to define these macros to behave consistently with the amsmath/LaTeX definitions.

  2. The \bm macro form the bm package is the "best" way to obtain bold math in LaTeX. Without replacing all the \bm macros in the document, a \let\bm=\mathbf seem to work with unicode-math, but I do not know about potential pitfalls.

The problem is that all these macros are written in Latex3 programming style, which is way above my knowledge level.

\usepackage{amsmath}% for uppercase greek slanted variants
    \def\mathstyle{TeX}   % or ISO
    \setmainfont{TeX Gyre Pagella}
    \setmathfont{Asana Math}
        \let\varGamma  \mitGamma
        \let\varDelta  \Delta
        \let\varTheta  \Theta
        \let\varLambda \Lambda
        \let\varXi     \Xi
        \let\varPi     \Pi
        \let\varSigma  \Sigma
        \let\varPhi    \Phi
        \let\varPsi    \Psi
        \let\varOmega  \Omega}
    \XeLaTeX{} (\texttt{math-style=\mathstyle})




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1 Answer 1


There is the start of a unicode-math aware version of bm at


but I got busy and it's not fully finished (so not on ctan) as you say you can use \mathbf (I'm not sure I agree with unicode-math changing the meaning of \mathbf but anyway that's what it does:-)

You also of course have the option of just entering these characters directly via their unicode numbers. The relevant ranges are in the tables starting at


  • I actually think it is great that unicode-math fixed \mathbf because its idiosyncratic behaviour WRT Greek lower case is IMO a bug if it weren’t for the idiosyncrasies of Computer Modern math fonts. Mar 28, 2013 at 12:36
  • Hi @KhaledHosny:-) making it work for greek is OK a kind of natural unicode extension but (one of the options) is to change its behaviour on the ascii latin range: \mathbf switches to bold roman not bold italic, but a general "math bold" command would give bold math italic, which is a useful feature but shouldn't be called mathbf (it could be bm for example) Mar 28, 2013 at 12:54
  • I agree with that (though I have no idea how to achieve it, most of unicode-math is black magic to me). Mar 28, 2013 at 13:50

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