Currently I have my electron neutrino & beta particle marco defined as


So that it works in math mode, text mode, and with mhchem. However this gives an italic nu and betas, which seems wrong since we don't italicize protons (p or p^{+}, or neutrons (n).

How would I change this to give me non-italic greek letters? The closes question I can find on this is Force upright Greek letters with isomath, but that uses DeclareMathSymbol and has some notes about getting it to work with T1 vs OT1 fonts and seems to overwrite the default \nu and \beta, which I don't want to do since I need the normal versions for other things.

So, how do I alter the above definitions to give me non-italic greek in math mode using \ensuremath?

Bonus points if someone can tell me if this is the correct typesetting of neutrinos and beta particles.

Edit: I would really like an answer using Latin Modern, since it is listed as supporting every European alphabet.

  • There's the package upgreek, but the results are disputable. The fonts provided by fourier and kpfonts have upright lowercase Greek. – egreg Jan 22 '12 at 17:35
  • @egreg What about Latin Modern? Doesn't it support pretty much every European alphabet? – Canageek Jan 22 '12 at 18:10
  • @egreg Can you also expand that into an answer on how I would use those fonts with the upright characters? – Canageek Jan 22 '12 at 18:13

As others have said in their answers there are a number of packages that provide upright Greek letters, e.g., upgreek, textgreek, kpfonts, fourier, newtxmath, ... which one to choose is in my eyes mainly a design question: which one fits best to the document's main font?

Since in chemistry upright Greek letters are used in a number of different places (particle symbols such as in your question, IUPAC names, ...) the chemgreek package defines a number of mappings for those different packages to macros \chemalpha, \chembeta, etc. (48 in total) and also allows to define own mappings. It does not load any of those packages so the choice is still up to the user. The advantage is that chemmacros (or other chemistry packages like mhchem) can simply use the \chem<letter> commands internally and the corresponding output will match the choice made by the user.

This can be used to define particle macros yourself:


% three different packages for demonstration purposes:

\usepackage{chemmacros}[2014/01/24]% loads `chemgreek'

% just to overwrite kpfonts as default font:

% define the particles; the second argument is placed in`chemformula's \chcpd
% command
% the negative space before the `e' should be chosen depending on the actual
% choice:



\pkg{upgreek}: \eneutrino\ \belectron\ \bpositron

\pkg{textgreek}: \eneutrino\ \belectron\ \bpositron

\pkg{kpfonts}: \eneutrino\ \belectron\ \bpositron


enter image description here


You could use the package upgreek (part of the "was" bundle of LaTeX packages, where "was" is short for Walter A. Schmidt...), which provides the math-mode macros \upalpha, \upbeta, etc.


The package gensymb, also by Walter Schmidt, provides very similar functionality that may meet you needs.

Addendum Still another method is available with the textgreek package:

$\nu$ $\beta$ \eneutrino \belectron \bpositron \textbeta\ \textnu

enter image description here

Second addendum Another option is to use the kpfonts package, which provides both slanted and upright Greek letters (though I'd say that the difference between \nu and \othernu is rather minor). If you choose to go this route, I'd recommend snugging up the subscript-e to the \othernu character by inserting a negative thinspace, \!.

$\nu$ $\othernu$ $\beta$ $\otherbeta$

\eneutrino \belectron \bpositron 

enter image description here

  • I was just about to ask about this: Which is better/what is the difference? – Canageek Jan 22 '12 at 17:45
  • Ok, that works, but since it loads them from another font face they are ugly as sin compared to the surrounding text. – Canageek Jan 22 '12 at 17:53
  • 2
    +1 for textgreek – egreg Jan 22 '12 at 21:36
  • 1
    You didn't mention in your first posting which font you use for text. I agree that the Adobe Symbol font doesn't harmonize very well with Computer/Latin Modern. See the addendum I've provided to my answer, in which I suggest you give the textgreek package a try. In the addendum, I've also included the xspace package to automatically add whitspace (if needed) following the new macros. I believe its upright-greek characters harmonize quite well with Latin Modern. – Mico Jan 22 '12 at 21:36
  • Very nice-- I'll try to remember to look into that, though I am actually really liking kpfonts for notes: They give individual lines of text a bit more oommph. Not great for paragraphs though. – Canageek Jan 26 '12 at 3:52

Here's a comparison between the results obtained by compiling three files. In the first row the normal italic greek letters, in the second row the corresponding upright letters. One can easily see that the result in the first case is questionable, as the upright letters are taken from the Euler font, while in the latter examples the letter blend with the overall design. For very limited use, upgreek can be a choice: \nu, for instance, but \beta is quite different.

Default setting with upgreek



enter image description here

With fourier



enter image description here

With kpfonts



enter image description here

  • But if I use your solutions I have to stop using Latin Modern in the rest of my document, correct? – Canageek Jan 22 '12 at 21:00
  • @Canageek Yes, of course. – egreg Jan 22 '12 at 21:06

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