I am trying to write an exam for multivariable calculus, with \usepackage{bookman,eulervm} and I am running into some very, very stange errors:

  1. When I try to use \mathbf{} on a Greek letter (e.g. \omega), LaTeX complies the symbol as something completely different: \mathbf{\omega} ends up making a boldface exclamation point; \mathbf{\tau} appears as a boldface nullset; \mathbf{\pi} appears as a boldface Eszett; etc. When I remove the font usepackage, the Greek letters simply fail to bold, but remain unchanged.

  2. Inside one particular \begin{align*} (nested inside a \begin{enumerate} environment) I have the line:

    &= (100\rm{rad}/\rm{sec})(20\rm{cm})(\sin(\pi/2))\\

    and for the life of me, I cannot figure out why the \pi is rendering as the german letter ß!

    enter image description here

    It is acting like it does when I try to make the \pi boldfaced (with the bookman and eulervm packages), yet is not bold?!

    Has anyone ever encountered this error before?

1 Answer 1


I believe the unexpected ess-zett shows up because \rm is not a command that takes an argument but, instead, a switch: all subsequent material (until either some other font-changing command is encountered or until the current (math) environment ends) is instructed to show up in "roman" mode. It just so happens that the text-mode glyph that's in the same spot of the respective font table where \pi would be in the math mode font table happens to be the ess-zett.

Rather than using \rm -- which is a holdover from (Plain) TeX and is only barely supported by LaTeX -- you really should use either the \text macro of the amsmath package (which you're already loading anyway, it would appear) and/or create a few dedicated macros, such as

\newcommand\rad{\text{rad}}  % `\text` is a macro provided by the amsmath package

and then write

   &= (100\,\rad/\second)(20\,\cm)(\sin(\pi/2))

which will give you the output you'd expect to get. (Aside: You should probably write "s" rather than "sec" for second...)

Addendum Better still, consider loading the siunitx package, e.g., with the instruction


(as well as, of course, the amsmath, eulervm, and bookman packages). Then you could write the expression in question as

   &= (\SI{100}{\radian\per\second})(\SI{20}{\centi\meter})(\sin(\pi/2))

and you'd automatically get a proper "thin-space" between the numerals and the associate units.

Finally, you mention encountering some problems with \mathbf; that works for (Latin) letters but not for other symbols (including various Greek letters). Use \boldsymbol for the latter symbols.


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