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I'm trying to achive a more angled $v$ that is more distinct from $u$. The default math mode v looks like this in the default font:

Math mode 'v' in default font

What I'm trying to achive is something like this (from txfonts):

math mode 'v' in txfonts

(Edit: the picture is a bit misleading - I posted it to demonstrate the angledness. I'm not trying to get the Greek letter "nu", but rather the classic Latin letter "v" which is straight-lined and mostly symmetric.)

I remember I used to be able to get the alternative v by using \varv (analogously to \varphi), but I guess this was just a command defined in the template I used when I didn't know much LaTeX. I can't find a package that defines \varv. Ironically (and confusingly), the angled v is default in txfonts, and to get the rounded one, there is a package option called varv.

I'm using the default fonts right now (Computer Modern / lmodern), but I might switch to Minion or Palatino plus matching math (mathpazo for Palatino, forgot what the math font for Minion was called), so an ideal solution would be somewhat font independent.

  • 1
    The latter "v" is often achievable with $\nu$ (if you are not planning on using nu). It can be font-dependent, however. – Steven B. Segletes Aug 28 '13 at 19:57
  • You could also just import a single symbol from a different font, if needed. – Werner Aug 28 '13 at 20:02
  • The newtxmath package provides a v in math mode that looks more like a \nu than a u. (It also provides a varg option that changes the appearance of the v back.) It uses—as the name suggests—a Times-like font for math-mode. There is also newtxtext. – Qrrbrbirlbel Aug 28 '13 at 20:34
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    the shape of that "v" from times (which can't be distinguished from "nu") is the exact reason that, for setting math in times, in metal, the rounded "v" and "w" were substituted from (i believe) century schoolbook. if you think this "v" and the "u" from the same font are indistinguishable, you're only scratching the surface. – barbara beeton Aug 28 '13 at 21:33
  • Actually I'm not trying to get a "nu" shape (which is straight on the left side and curved on the right, a bit like a harp), but rather a symmetric, angled "v" (like in Times New Roman). Sorry if the image was misleading. – jdm Aug 29 '13 at 6:58
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Grab \varv from txfonts using guidelines from Importing a single symbol from a different font:

enter image description here

\documentclass{article}
\DeclareSymbolFont{matha}{OML}{txmi}{m}{it}% txfonts
\DeclareMathSymbol{\varv}{\mathord}{matha}{118}
\begin{document}
$v\ \varv\ u\ \nu$
\end{document}

How do you know \varv is character 118? Use fonttable's \fonttable{txmi} (see Find out the number of a symbol to access it):

enter image description here

  • Very informative, but how do you know the rest of the info for txfonts? For example, matha & txmi? And what does OML mean? – Steven B. Segletes Aug 29 '13 at 10:11
  • @StevenB.Segletes: I viewed txfonts.sty to find \varv and worked my way back from there to see which font the element comes from. Using the package's letters alphabet overwrites the existing selection, so I used matha (which hadn't been defined/used before). For the other stuff, see section 3.5 Declaring symbol fonts (p 14) of the LaTeX2e font selection guide. – Werner Aug 29 '13 at 14:52

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