I'm currently writing my thesis and have a lot of equations to write down. In order to make those more readable I would like to differentiate vectors and scalars by writing vectors with bold characters. As it is rather tedious to write \boldsymbol{x} every time I use the vector x, I would like to know if it is somehow possible to make those characters bold by default.

Is there a way to do that?

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    Welcome to TeX SX! How would LaTeX make the difference between x as a vector, and x as a number? Maybe you never ever use x for numbers? – Bernard Jul 9 '17 at 10:12

Write \newcommand{\vx}{\boldsymbol{x}} in the preamble and use \vx whenever you want x in bold font. For any other letter of interest, just replace vx with v<you letter>

  • That's usually bad practice. a) Do not use one-character command sequences (especially as there are many that already have a meaning) and b) You should usually check if you're in math or not. – TeXnician Jul 9 '17 at 10:23
  • He says that he uses \boldsymbol{x} and want something shorter or automatic. Do you have a better solution? – Al-Motasem Aldaoudeyeh Jul 9 '17 at 10:25
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    Probably \vx (for “vector x”) is better. – egreg Jul 9 '17 at 10:27
  • egreg is right. But especially you should adjust your advice so that one-character sequences are not the general idea. If you replace x with one of k,c,l,b,d,r,u,v,t,o you'll notice issues (see en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Special_Characters) – TeXnician Jul 9 '17 at 10:31
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    In my opinion, it's more the problem of an editor: how to have a shortcut to make it type automatically \boldsymbol{}, or \mathbf{}, with the cursor between the braces. Most modern editors let you easily define such a shortcut. – Bernard Jul 9 '17 at 11:01

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