Why You Should Avoid Using `\it` and `\bf` in LaTeX/Overleaf: The right way to bold/italicize text

In the world of LaTeX, one of the most popular typesetting systems, there are several commands that have become outdated over the years. Two such commands are \\it and \\bf. While you might find these commands in older documents, there are compelling reasons to avoid them in modern LaTeX documents.

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1. They Overwrite Each Other

One of the primary reasons to avoid using \\it and \\bf is that they don’t nest as one might expect. This means that if you attempt to set text in both italic and bold by using both commands, only the last command specified will be applied.


\\it\bf My Text

This won’t display the text in both italic and bold as one might expect. Instead, only the bold command will be applied because \\bf overwrites the \\it command.

2. Modern Alternatives are Available

Fortunately, there are modern alternatives that don’t have this issue. The commands \textit{} and \textbf{} can be combined seamlessly to achieve the desired effect.


\textit{\textbf{My Text}}

This will display the text in both italic and bold, just as expected.