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How can I get bold math symbols?

I would like to distinguish between a vector of betas and the individual betas and I want to use bold symbol, rather than an error, to indicate the vector.

However, I see from How can I get bold math symbols? pointed out by @Werner that there is no difference between \beta and \mathbf{beta}.

However, even \bm{beta} could use a little fattening-up, in my opinion, and the \hm from the bm package. Can I make the beta's extra bold? My current solution is just to use "B" instead.

for comparison, here is the output of

$\beta \mathbf{\beta} \bm{\beta} \hm{\beta} \bm{\beta\mkern-11mu\beta}$

  • In your tests did you use \bm as you stated in your question or \mathbf as you showed in code and the image. \mathbf has no effect on \beta in the default setup. – David Carlisle Jun 28 '12 at 19:57
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  • I think the following is a duplicate: How can I get bold math symbols? – Werner Jun 28 '12 at 20:01
  • @DavidCarlisle I used \mathbf in my tests. \bm definitely works, but I would like to know if I could make it "double-bold". – David LeBauer Jun 28 '12 at 20:04
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    How "bold" a given symbol looks is entirely dependent on the font. cm fonts are always fairly skinny, mathtime (for which bm was originally written) has two weights of bold bold and extra bold (called heavy with short command \hm in bm.sty but even without changing to commercial fonts just switching amongst the available font packages might do something you prefer, or there is always \bm{\beta\mkern-10mu\beta} but that is fairly horrible. – David Carlisle Jun 28 '12 at 20:14

Use "poor man's bold" combined with \bm. Like this:\pmb{\bm{\beta}}. In math mode of course. This requires the amsmath package.

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