In the process of moving almost entirely to OpenType fonts for text and math, but trying to retain MathTime Pro II as the math font, I am realizing that some of these commands may not actually do what I thought they did. In math mode, both \mathbf and \textbf pull upright boldface characters from the selected text font. I had believed that \mathbf was getting characters from mtpro2, but that actually requires one to use \mbf. The characters in mtpro2 have slightly increased side-spacing as explained in the manual guide2.pdf available from the website. So what are the differences between \mathbf and \textbf (or, for that matter, \mathrm and \textrm, \mathsf and \textsf, etc.) when used in math mode? Is this to give you the option of having two different fonts available for each family, series, shape, etc. in math mode (to deal with the spacing issue perhaps)?

1 Answer 1


\mathbf will give the bold upright font declared for math or with unicode-math package optionally is an alias for \symbf which selects the bold math alphabet and is not a font change.

\textbf switches to text mode from math mode and selects whatever font is declared as bold for the text current outside the current math. It may happen to use the same font as \mathbf but typically will not.

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