I'm writing a manuscript (100 page) and I used many times the symbols $v$ and $\nu$ in mathematical mode. For example my equations have the form:

$\frac{u+v}{\nu}=0$ and the pdf gives the following: 


Unfortunately, after compiling, the two symbols $v$ and $\nu$ are very similar and it is very difficult to distinguish them.

Please can you help me to overcome this problem knowing that I can't change the symbol $v$ in 100 pages

  • 7
    They seem distinguishable image-click here with the Computer Modern fonts. Can you tell something more about your setup?
    – egreg
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 16:07
  • 6
    if using newtxtext and newtxmath there is a specific option varvw to help alleviate this problem. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    @egreg Im trying to put an image to what I obtained when I write $\frac{u+v}{\nu}$
    – A H
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    Please provide a MWE so we can see what class and packages you are using.
    – lblb
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 11:59
  • 1
    @A H: A minimal working example (MWE) is one that produces your problem with only the relevant packages, so you wouldn't need most of the packages you listed. Creating a MWE is itself some work, but greatly appreciated for people tackling a question.
    – lblb
    Commented Apr 11, 2017 at 15:21

4 Answers 4


Judging from the image you probably have


in your document.

Replace it with


and the output of


will be, with no other change to your document,

enter image description here

  • I used this package \usepackage{mathrsfs}
    – A H
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:08
  • 1
    @AH That's completely irrelevant. What document class are you using?
    – egreg
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:09
  • @egred \documentclass[a4paper,11pt]{book}
    – A H
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:14
  • 7
    @AH Please, add a small example to your question.
    – egreg
    Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 17:14

Using Computer Modern for v and \nu.

  • 2
    Alternatively, you could retain the standard newtxmath v, which is readily distinguishable from the Computer Modern \nu, in order to avoid introducing confusion between v and \upsilon. Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 8:47

I got the same problem, but since I did not want to make any changes (I wasnt sure if the proposed solutions would change anything in a finalised document, such as line-breaks, any slight changes of spacing, etc.), i preferred the following solution that solves the problem by adding a single line ("AtBeginDocument..."):





A `v' in math: $v$

A `nu' in math: $\nu$


This code follows along the lines of Gavin R. Putland's comment on Syrtis Major's answer, but it makes the Computer Modern \nu a bit thicker, so it fits in better with a Times font. It also has a bold version, patterned on this answer. (To explain the '027 of the fifth line, see this answer.)

\[ \frac{u+v}{\nuCM \nu \boldmath\nu} \]

CM nu thickened

I got the idea of using the contour package in this way from this answer and the comment on it by diabonas. As an alternative to using the contour package for making the symbol darker, the pdfrender package could be used, as in this answer and this answer.

If you want the v to look as in egreg's answer, change the second line of my code to


and the result is

CM nu thickened with alternative v

For discussions of non-Computer Modern versions of \nu and how to distinguish them from v, see the answers to this question.

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