# Strategies for nice vectors

I'm investigating about possible strategies to get nice vectors, discarding bold fonts. To make it simple, I'm not very happy with traditional ways of writing vectors with arrows. Please compare $\overrightarrow{OM}$, $\overrightarrow{M}$, $\vec{OM}$ and $\vec{M}$. My preference goes to the $\vec{M}$ command which is not suited for longer names like $\vec{OM}$ and I do not like \overrightarrow. I would be interested in possibles ways to overcome these problems. Thank you

• One thought is that $\vec{M}$ and $\vec{OM}$ are pretty different things: the first is the vector called 'M', the second the (nameless) vector from point O to point M (as you of course know). You'd want those to be formatted in very different ways, so the fact that $\vec{OM}$ doesn't work is neither surprising nor undesirable. Aug 18, 2010 at 17:39
• I think you are right but sometimes, you still need something like $\vec{OM}$ and none of the existing solutions look fine to me. Aug 23, 2010 at 2:45

The esvect package allows to choose between several vector arrows: Width (according to the argument) and size (according to the context, normal, subscripts, subsubscripts) are automatically calculated.

• I stop using TeX's way of denoting vectors and \renewcommand\vec{\mathbold}. This is the case where everybody else is assuming bold letters the standard format for vectors. Aug 19, 2010 at 6:18
• but how do you make the difference between a vector written in a basis and a vector as an object? (same difference as a tensor and its respective matrix in a specific basis?) Aug 23, 2010 at 2:42

Just be sure to use your own newcommand as a wrapper, so that you can then make any changes you like. I recently changed the textbook I wrote for my class from bold-face notation to over-arrow notation. (I did this because the students preferred it. If, this year, the students prefer bold-face, I can go back to that in a jiffy.)

• this is a very good advice. Most of latex works should be thought this way. Aug 23, 2010 at 2:43

This has long been a bugbear for me as well. While boldface is standard in my field, and good enough for almost all of my work, there have always been occasions when I wished for extensible and well-placed harpoons as well.

Prompted by your question, I've looked once more, and found a potential solution: I submit for your approval the harpoon package.

• this package seems a bit old. Aug 23, 2010 at 13:29