I am working on a paper where I use lowercase "w" and the lower case Greek letter omega a lot. The rendering of both of these alphabets is very similar, and causes much confusion to the reader. Is there a better way to distinguish them? I cannot use bold w as I have reserved it for something else.

  • Which font do you use?
    – Bernard
    Feb 12 '15 at 20:13
  • Search the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List for omega and you'll find some other font alternatives.
    – Werner
    Feb 12 '15 at 20:14
  • Thanks for quick response, Bernard. I just have following in the preamble. How to tell which font I am using?- - RD \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage{mathtools} \usepackage{amssymb, amsthm, amscd, MnSymbol} \DeclareMathAlphabet{\mathbbm}{U}{bbm}{m}{n}
    – user72244
    Feb 12 '15 at 20:15
  • If it is all you have in your preamble, you use the default Computer Modern. You can consider loading the upgreek package, to use the Euler (upright) greek fonts, or use anther font that has greek fonts for which omega is notably distinct from w.
    – Bernard
    Feb 12 '15 at 20:26
  • Thank you, Bernard. I tried using \upomega. But I am also using \mathbbm for some other purposes (please see my preamble). Therefore, I get the following error when I use \upomega: LaTeX Error: Too many math alphabets used in version normal. - RD
    – user72244
    Feb 12 '15 at 20:59

If using either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX is an option for you, you may want to use the Cambria Math font.

The following table contrasts the looks of w and \omega, as well as looks of the notoriously-similar triple v, \upsilon, and \nu. Clearly, w and \omega are very different if Cambria Math is loaded. Pagella, a Palatino clone, arguably does a credible job as well distinguishting these two characters. (If you must use v, \upsilon, and \nu in one document, Pagella is your best bet. My recommendation, though, is simply not to use \upsilon.)

enter image description here

If you decide to go with the Palatino clone, you could use it under pdfLaTeX by loading the packages newpxtext and newpxmath.

% !TEX TS-program = lualatex
Latin Modern Math &
\setmathfont{LM Math} $ w\, \omega$ 
& $v\,\upsilon\,\nu$ & $\alpha\beta\gamma\delta$\\
Cambria Math & 
\setmathfont{Cambria Math} $ w\, \omega$ & $v\,\upsilon\,\nu$ & $\alpha\beta\gamma\delta$\\
XITS Math & 
\setmathfont{XITS Math} $ w\, \omega$  
& $v\,\upsilon\,\nu$ & $\alpha\beta\gamma\delta$\\
TeX Gyre Pagella Math & 
\setmathfont{TeX Gyre Pagella Math} $ w\, \omega$ 
& $v\,\upsilon\,\nu$ & $\alpha\beta\gamma\delta$\\
  • Thanks Mico. I like the Cambria Math. The distinction is pretty clear in this font. However, how can I use this only for w and omega? I don't want to apply this over the entire document (where I am using Computer Modern font). I have w and omega in both equations as well as in-text. Please also see my preamble (in the comments above) for the packages I have in my document. - RD
    – user72244
    Feb 12 '15 at 21:03
  • @user72244 - I would counsel against mixing-and-matching math fonts as disparate as Latin Modern and Cambria. (Cambria is much darker than Latin Modern.) Are you not able to switch to LuaLaTeX?
    – Mico
    Feb 12 '15 at 21:09
  • It might also be noted that Cambria lacks a lot of math glyphs, and some things can look just…weird.
    – wchargin
    Feb 12 '15 at 21:27
  • 4
    @WChargin - Your comment, as made, is rather unspecific and may not be all that helpful for readers who need to make choices over fonts and font families. We also don't know (yet) what kinds of math symbols the OP needs (other than w and \omega, of course.) Could you give some specific examples of weirdness and/or of missing math glyphs?
    – Mico
    Feb 12 '15 at 21:38

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