Here in Germany it is common to write a vector as a one column matrix.

The vector character itself is setup as e.g.: \vv{a}

I have however seen vectors setup as one row matrix where the components are separated with commas, and the vector character is setup in BOLDMATH without any arrow above it.

Any expert who knows the international rules how to layout a vector properly so it is internationally accepted?

Are there any such rules or are they country-depending?

And as I could see that my question was a bit misleading, I shall be more precise. I am setting up a sty file containing some vector calculations and I am not knowing which conventions for vector notation are present in other countries than Germany ...

The idea is to setup a global command for typesetting a vector to quickly change layout country-depending.

So my question is: What notation of vectors are common in various countries, e.g. one column matrix, one row matrix, one row matrix transposed, etc. and maybe a clever command change them globally and to know if there is a international rule how to typeset vectors.

Any hints appreciated which notation in what country, like

Germany: one column matrix UK: ... USA: ... France: ... Spain: ...

Hope to have been more understandful now :-)

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    Pick up a style and stick to it. I somewhat adopted the boldmath notation over arrows in research papers (CS) for brevity and wide understanding. As for row vs. column – might it be that they save space? Because, you can write (1,2,3)^T instead of 1-2-3 column. – Oleg Lobachev Jul 3 '18 at 22:05
  • @Oleg Lobachev ... so no rules -- just personal preferences? – user151328 Jul 3 '18 at 22:11
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    I'd look at papers in the target area (a proper subfield of CS, math, etc.) and mimic them. – Oleg Lobachev Jul 3 '18 at 22:35
  • So, I suggest two different things here, as I just noticed. The first comment is about writing a thesis or something, where you are completely in control. The second is about a scientific paper, where you'd better fulfil the expectations of the community. But actually, these things are so minor that you can use your own preferences and then just wait for reviewer's feedback. I don't think a paper would be rejected because it notes vectors down in a different established manner than most in the field. – Oleg Lobachev Jul 3 '18 at 22:37
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    you are asking a mathematical rather than tex question so it's off topic here, it depends what you are doing but sometimes the choice of row or column is just a typographic choice but sometimes the row and column vector denote different objects so it is not a stylistic choice especially if anything is being represented by matrix multiplication. – David Carlisle Jul 4 '18 at 8:00

So, more related to TeX: define a \newcommand for vectors, say \vec and for values in a vector, say, \vecvals. Assign them to \vv and column matrix pmatrix magic, as you want, e.g.


Then, you'd be able to change them fast to \boldmath and row matrix (with an optional ^T) if requested:


In your actual text you use only your \vec commands, so, a quick global style change is a matter of minutes.

  • I think \v exists. Why not use \vec and redefine in case a change is wanted? – Manuel Jul 3 '18 at 22:47
  • Point taken. I've updated the answer. – Oleg Lobachev Jul 3 '18 at 23:13

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