TeX Frequently Asked Questions

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If you are interested in text alone, you can in principle use any of
the huge numbers of text fonts in Adobe Type 1, TrueType or OpenType
formats. The constraint is, of course, that your previewer and
printer driver should support such fonts (TeX itself *only*
cares about metrics, not the actual character programs).

If you also need mathematics, then you are severely limited by the
demands that TeX makes of maths fonts (for details, see the papers
by
B.K.P. Horn in *TUGboat* 14(3),
or by
Thierry Bouche in *TUGboat* 19(2)).
For mathematics, then, there are rather few choices (though the list is
at last growing). There are several font families available that are
based on Knuth’s original designs, and some that complement other
commercial text font designs; one set (MicroPress’s ‘informal math’)
stands alone. “Free” font families that will support TeX
mathematics include:

- Computer Modern
- (75 fonts — optical scaling) Donald E. Knuth

The CM fonts were originally designed in Metafont, but are also now available in scalable outline form. There are commercial as well as public domain versions, and there are both Adobe Type 1 and TrueType versions. A set of outline versions of the fonts was developed as a commercial venture by Y&Y and Blue Sky Research; they have since assigned the copyright to the AMS, and the fonts are now freely available from CTAN. Their quality is such that they have become the*de facto*standard for Type 1 versions of the fonts. - AMS fonts
- (52 fonts, optical scaling) The AMS

This set of fonts offers adjuncts to the CM set, including two sets of symbol fonts (*msam*and*msbm*) and Euler text fonts. These are not a self-standing family, but merit discussion here (not least because several other families mimic the symbol fonts). Freely-available Type 1 versions of the fonts are available on CTAN. The*eulervm*package permits use of the Euler maths alphabet in conjunction with text fonts that do not provide maths alphabets of their own (for instance, Adobe Palatino or Minion). - Mathpazo version 1.003
- (5 fonts) Diego Puga

The Pazo Math fonts are a family of type 1 fonts suitable for typesetting maths in combination with the Palatino family of text fonts. Four of the five fonts of the distribution are maths alphabets, in upright and italic shapes, medium and bold weights; the fifth font contains a small selection of “blackboard bold” characters (chosen for their mathematical significance). Support under LaTeX2e is available in PSNFSS; the fonts are licensed under the GPL, with legalese permitting the use of the fonts in published documents. - Fourier/Utopia
- (15 fonts) Michel Bovani

*Fourier*is a family built on Adobe*Utopia*(which has been released for usage free of charge by Adobe). The fonts provide the basic Computer Modern set of mathematical symbols, and add many of the AMS mathematical symbols (though you are expected to use some from the AMS fonts themselves). There are also several other mathematical and decorative symbols. The fonts come with a*fourier*package for use with LaTeX; text support of OT1 encoding is not provided — you are expected to use T1.For a sample, see http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/utopia/

- Fourier/New Century Schoolbook
- Michael Zedler

*Fouriernc*is a configuration using the Fourier fonts in the context of New Century Schoolbook text fonts.For a sample, see http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/newcent/

- KP-fonts
- The Johannes Kepler project

The*kp-fonts*family provides a comprehensive set of text and maths fonts. The set includes replacement fixed-width and sans fonts (though some reports have suggested that these are less successful, and their use may be suppressed when loading the fonts’*kpfonts*LaTeX support package).For an example, see http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/kpserif/

- MathDesign
- (3 free families, 3 commercial-based
families…so far) Paul Pichaureau

This set so far offers mathematics fonts to match the free fonts Adobe Utopia, URW Garamond and Bitstream Charter (the text versions of all of which are separately available, on CTAN, in Type 1 format), and Adobe Garamond Pro, Adobe UtopiaStd and ITC Charter (which are commercial fonts, all available for purchase on the web). There has been a little comment on these fonts, but none from actual users posted to the public forums. Users, particularly those who are willing to discuss their experiences, would obviously be welcome. Browse the CTAN directory and see which you want: there is a wealth of documentation and examples.For samples of the free variants, see http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/charter/ for URW Charter, http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/garamond/ for URW Garamond and http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/utopia-md/ for Adobe Utopia.

- Belleek
- (3 fonts) Richard Kinch

Belleek is the upshot of Kinch’s thoughts on how Metafont might be used in the future: they were published simultaneously as Metafont source, as Type 1 fonts, and as TrueType fonts. The fonts act as “drop-in” replacements for the basic MathTime set (as an example of “what might be done”).The paper outlining Kinch’s thoughts, proceeding from considerations of the ‘intellectual’ superiority of Metafont to evaluations of why its adoption is so limited and what might be done about the problem, is to be found at http://truetex.com/belleek.pdf

- MTPro2 Lite
- Pubish or Perish (Michael Spivak)

A (functional) subset of the MathTime Pro 2 font set, that is made available, free, for general use. While it does not offer the full power of the commercial product (see below), it is nevertheless a desirable font set. - Mathptmx
- Alan Jeffrey, Walter Schmidt and others.

This set contains maths italic, symbol, extension, and roman virtual fonts, built from Adobe Times, Symbol, Zapf Chancery, and the Computer Modern fonts. The resulting mixture is not entirely acceptable, but can pass in many circumstances. The real advantage is that the mathptm fonts are (effectively) free, and the resulting PostScript files can be freely exchanged. Support under LaTeX2e is available in PSNFSS.For a sample, see http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/times/

- Computer Modern Bright
- Free scalable outline versions of these fonts do exist; they are covered below together with their commercial parallels.
- URW Classico
- (4 fonts) LaTeX support by Bob Tennent

These are clones of Zapf’s Optima available from CTAN (for non-commercial use only). Mathematics support can be provided by using packages*eulervm*or*sansmath*. As a sans-serif font family, Optima is especially suitable for presentations.

The excellent *font catalogue* keeps an
up-to-date list
which describes the fonts by giving names and short examples, only.
(At the time of writing — June 2008 — the list has several that
are only scheduled for inclusion here.

Another useful document is Stephen Hartke’s “Free maths font
survey”, which is available on CTAN in both PDF and
HTML formats. The survey covers most of the fonts mentioned in
the font catalogue, but also mentions some (such as *Belleek*
that the catalogue omits.

Fonts capable of setting TeX mathematics, that are available commercially, include:

- BA Math
- (13 fonts) MicroPress Inc.

BA Math is a family of serif fonts, inspired by the elegant and graphically perfect font design of John Baskerville. BA Math comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting (maths italic, math symbols and extensions) in normal and bold weights. The family also includes all OT1 and T1 encoded text fonts of various shapes, as well as fonts with most useful glyphs of the TS1 encoding. Macros for using the fonts with Plain TeX, LaTeX 2.09 and current LaTeX are provided.For further details (including samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/bamath/bamain.htm - CH Math
- (15 fonts) MicroPress Inc.

CH Math is a family of slab serif fonts, designed as a maths companion for Bitstream Charter. (The distribution includes four free Bitstream text fonts, in addition to the 15 hand-hinted MicroPress fonts.) For further details (including samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/chmath/chmain.htm - Computer Modern Bright
- (62 fonts — optical scaling) Walter
Schmidt

CM Bright is a family of sans serif fonts, based on Knuth’s CM fonts. It comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting, including AMS symbols, as well as text and text symbol fonts of various shapes. The collection comes with its own set of files for use with LaTeX. The CM Bright fonts are supplied in Type 1 format by MicroPress, Inc. The*hfbright*bundle offers free Type 1 fonts for text using the OT1 encoding — the*cm-super*fonts provide the fonts in T1 text encoding but don’t support CM bright mathematics.For further details of Micropress’ offering (including samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/brmath/brmain.htm - Concrete Math
- (25 fonts — optical scaling) Ulrik Vieth

The Concrete Math font set was derived from the Concrete Roman typefaces designed by Knuth. The set provides a collection of math italics, math symbol, and math extension fonts, and fonts of AMS symbols that fit with the Concrete set, so that Concrete may be used as a complete replacement for Computer Modern. Since Concrete is considerably darker than CM, the family may particularly attractive for use in low-resolution printing or in applications such as posters or transparencies. Concrete Math fonts, as well as Concrete Roman fonts, are supplied in Type 1 format by MicroPress, Inc.For further information (including samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/ccmath/ccmain.htm - HV Math
- (14 fonts) MicroPress Inc.

HV Math is a family of sans serif fonts, inspired by the Helvetica (TM) typeface. HV Math comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting (maths italic, maths symbols and extensions) in normal and bold weights. The family also includes all OT1 and T1 encoded text fonts of various shapes, as well as fonts with most useful glyphs of the TS1 encoding. Macros for using the fonts with Plain TeX, LaTeX 2.09 and current LaTeX are provided. Bitmapped copies of the fonts are available free, on CTAN.For further details (and samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/hvmath/hvmain.htm - Informal Math
- (7 outline fonts) MicroPress Inc.

Informal Math is a family of fanciful fonts loosely based on the Adobe’s Tekton (TM) family, fonts which imitate handwritten text. Informal Math comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting (maths italic, maths symbols and extensions) in normal weight, as well as OT1 encoded text fonts in upright and oblique shapes. Macros for using the fonts with Plain TeX, LaTeX 2.09 and current LaTeX are provided.For further details (including samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/ifmath/ifmain.htm - Lucida Bright
*with*Lucida New Math - (25 fonts) Chuck Bigelow and
Kris Holmes

Lucida is a family of related fonts including seriffed, sans serif, sans serif fixed width, calligraphic, blackletter, fax, Kris Holmes’ connected handwriting font,*etc*; they’re not as ‘spindly’ as Computer Modern, with a large x-height, and include a larger set of maths symbols, operators, relations and delimiters than CM (over 800 instead of 384: among others, it also includes the AMS*msam*and*msbm*symbol sets). ‘Lucida Bright Expert’ (14 fonts) adds seriffed fixed width, another handwriting font, smallcaps, bold maths, upright ‘maths italic’,*etc*., to the set. Support under LaTeX is available under the auspices of the PSNFSS, and pre-built metrics are also provided.TUG has the right to distribute these fonts; the web site “Lucida and TUG” has details.

- Adobe Lucida, LucidaSans
*and*LucidaMath - (12 fonts)

Lucida and LucidaMath are generally considered to be a bit heavy. The three maths fonts contain only the glyphs in the CM maths italic, symbol, and extension fonts. Support for using LucidaMath with TeX is not very good; you will need to do some work reencoding fonts*etc*. (In some sense this set is the ancestor of the LucidaBright plus LucidaNewMath font set, which are not currently available.) - MathTime Pro2
- Publish or Perish (Michael Spivak)

This latest instance of the MathTime family covers all the weights (medium, bold and heavy) and symbols of previous versions of MathTime. In addition it has a much extended range of symbols, and many typographic improvements that make for high-quality documents. The fonts are supported under both Plain TeX and LaTeX2e, and are exclusively available for purchase from Personal TeX Inc.

For further details and samples and fliers, see http://www.pctex.com/mtpro2.html - Minion Pro and MnSymbol
- Adobe, LaTeX support and packaging by
Achim Blumensath
*et al*.

*Minion Pro*derives from the widely-available commercial OpenType font of the same name by Adobe; scripts are provided to convert relevant parts of it to Adobe Type 1 format. The*MinionPro*package will set up text and maths support using*Minion Pro*, but a separate (free) font set*MnSymbol*greatly extends the symbol coverage. - PA Math
- PA Math is a family of serif fonts
loosely based on the Palatino (TM) typeface. PA Math
comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting (maths
italics, maths, calligraphic and oldstyle symbols, and extensions)
in normal and bold weights. The family also includes all OT1,
T1 encoded text fonts of various shapes, as well as fonts
with the most useful glyphs of the TS1 encoding. Macros for
using the fonts with Plain TeX, LaTeX 2.09 and current LaTeX
are provided.
For further details (and samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/pamath/pamain.htm - TM Math
- (14 fonts) MicroPress Inc.

TM Math is a family of serif fonts, inspired by the Times (TM) typeface. TM Math comprises the fonts necessary for mathematical typesetting (maths italic, maths symbols and extensions) in normal and bold weights. The family also includes all OT1 and T1 encoded text fonts of various shapes, as well as fonts with most useful glyphs of the TS1 encoding. Macros for using the fonts with Plain TeX, LaTeX 2.09 and current LaTeX are provided. Bitmapped copies of the fonts are available free, on CTAN.For further details (and samples) see

http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/tmmath/tmmain.htm

Two other font sets should be mentioned, even though they don’t currently produce satisfactory output — their author is no longer working on them, and several problems have been identified:

- Pxfonts set version 1.0
- (26 fonts) by Young Ryu

The*pxfonts*set consists of- virtual text fonts using
*Adobe**Palatino*(or its URW replacement,*Palladio*) with modified plus, equal and slash symbols; - maths alphabets using
*Palatino*(or*Palladio*; - maths fonts of all symbols in the computer modern maths fonts
(
*cmsy*,*cmmi*,*cmex*and the Greek letters of*cmr*) - maths fonts of all symbols corresponding to the AMS
fonts (
*msam*and*msbm*); - additional maths fonts of various symbols.

The text fonts are available in OT1, T1 and LY1 encodings, and TS encoded symbols are also available. The sans serif and monospaced fonts supplied with the

*txfonts*set (see below) may be used with*pxfonts*; the*txfonts*set should be installed whenever*pxfonts*are. LaTeX,*dvips*and PDFTeX support files are included.The fonts are not perfect; the widths assigned to the characters in the

`.tfm`

file are wrong for some glyphs; this can cause sequences of characters to “look wrong”, or in some cases even to overlap; the*newpx*fonts (noted above) aim to reduce these problems.The fonts are licensed under the GPL; use in published documents is permitted.

- virtual text fonts using
- Newpx
- by Michael Sharpe from Young Ryu’s
*pxfonts*

This collection is derived from*pxfonts*; the maths fonts metrics have been adjusted so that the output is less cramped than when*pxfonts*is used; the appearance of the output is much improved. Two packages are provided,*newpxtext*for using the associated text fonts, and*newpxmath*for mathematics. - Txfonts set version 3.1
- (42 fonts) by Young Ryu

The*txfonts*set consists of- virtual text fonts using
*Adobe**Times*(or the URW*Nimbus Roman No9 L*font that substitutes for Times, which is distributed as part of the URW “basic 35” collection) with modified plus, equal and slash symbols; - matching sets of sans serif and monospace (‘typewriter’)
fonts (the sans serif set is based on
*Adobe**Helvetica*); - maths alphabets using Adobe
*Times*, or the URW equivalent*NimbusRomanNo9*; - maths fonts of all symbols in the computer modern maths fonts
(
*cmsy*,*cmmi*,*cmex*and the Greek letters of*cmr*) - maths fonts of all symbols corresponding to the AMS
fonts (
*msam*and*msbm*); - additional maths fonts of various symbols.

The text fonts are available in OT1, T1 and LY1 encodings, and TS encoded symbols are also available.

The fonts are not perfect; the widths assigned to the characters in the

`.tfm`

file are wrong for some glyphs; this can cause sequences of characters to “look wrong”, or in some cases even to overlap; the*newtx*fonts (noted above) aim to reduce these problems.The fonts are licensed under the GPL; use in published documents is permitted.

- virtual text fonts using
- Txfontsb set version 1.00
- by Young Ryu and Antonis Tsolomitis

The*txfontsb*bundles*txfonts*, extended to provide a Small Caps set, Old-Style numbers and Greek text (from the GNU Freefont set). Documentation is available for this variant, too. - Newtx
- by Michael Sharpe from Young Ryu’s
*txfonts*

This collection is derived from*txfonts*; the maths fonts metrics have been adjusted so that the output is less cramped than when*txfonts*is used; the appearance of the output is much improved. Two packages are provided,*newtxtext*for using the associated text fonts, and*newtxmath*for mathematics. Options are provided to substitute letters and symbols from the*Libertine*set, and from the Garamond extension font*garamondx*(but note that*garamondx*, which is an adaptation of URW Garamond, is not available via TeX Live).

Finally, one must not forget:

- Proprietary fonts
- Various sources.

Since having a high quality font set in scalable outline form that works with TeX can give a publisher a real competitive advantage, there are some publishers that have paid (a lot) to have such font sets made for them. Unfortunately, these sets are not available on the open market, despite the likelihood that they’re more complete than those that are.

We observe a very limited selection of commercial maths font sets; a Type 1 maths font has to be explicitly designed for use with TeX, which is an expensive business, and is of little appeal in other markets. Furthermore, the TeX market for commercial fonts is minute by comparison with the huge sales of other font sets.

Text fonts in Type 1 format are available from many vendors including Adobe, Monotype and Bitstream. However, be careful with cheap font “collections”; many of them dodge copyright restrictions by removing (or crippling) parts of the font programs such as hinting. Such behaviour is both unethical and bad for the consumer. The fonts may not render well (or at all, under ATM), may not have the ‘standard’ complement of 228 glyphs, or may not include metric files (which you need to make TFM files).

TrueType was for a long time the “native” format for Windows, but MicroSoft joined the development of the OpenType specification, and ‘modern’ windows will work happily with fonts in either format. Some TeX implementations such as TrueTeX use TrueType versions of Computer Modern and Times Maths fonts to render TeX documents in Windows without the need for additional system software like ATM. (When used on a system running Windows XP or later, TrueTeX can also use Adobe Type 1 fonts.)

When choosing fonts, your own system environment may not be the only one of interest. If you will be sending your finished documents to others for further use, you should consider whether a given font format will introduce compatibility problems. Publishers may require TrueType exclusively because their systems are Windows-based, or Type 1 exclusively, because their systems are based on the early popularity of that format in the publishing industry. Many service bureaus don’t care as long as you present them with a finished print file (PostScript or PDF) for their output device.

*CM family collection*- Distributed as part of fonts/amsfonts (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*AMS font collection*- Distributed as part of fonts/amsfonts (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Belleek fonts*- fonts/belleek/belleek.zip; catalogue entry
*URW Classico fonts*- fonts/urw/classico (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*CM-super collection*- fonts/ps-type1/cm-super (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*eulervm.sty and supporting metrics*- fonts/eulervm (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*fourier (including metrics and other support for utopia*- fonts/fourier-GUT (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*fouriernc*- fonts/fouriernc (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*garamondx*- fonts/garamondx (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*hfbright collection*- fonts/ps-type1/hfbright (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*hvmath (free bitmapped version)*- fonts/micropress/hvmath (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*kpfonts family*- fonts/kpfonts (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Libertine family*- fonts/libertine (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Lucida Bright/Math metrics*- fonts/psfonts/bh/lucida (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Lucida PSNFSS support*- macros/latex/contrib/psnfssx/lucidabr (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*MathDesign collection*- fonts/mathdesign; catalogue entry
*Maths Font Survey*- info/Free_Math_Font_Survey/en/survey.pdf (PDF) or info/Free_Math_Font_Survey/en/survey.html (HTML)
*MathTime Pro 2 Lite*- fonts/mtp2lite (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Minion Pro support*- fonts/minionpro (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*MnSymbol family*- fonts/mnsymbol (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Newtx fonts*- fonts/newtx (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*NimbusRomanNo9 fonts*- distributed in fonts/urw/base35 (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*Palladio fonts*- distributed in fonts/urw/base35 (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*pxfonts*- fonts/pxfonts (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*sansmath.sty*- macros/latex/contrib/sansmath (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*tmmath (free bitmapped version)*- fonts/micropress/tmmath (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*txfonts*- fonts/txfonts (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*URW “35 fonts” collection*- fonts/urw/base35 (or browse the directory); catalogue entry
*utopia fonts*- fonts/utopia (or browse the directory); catalogue entry

*This answer last edited: 2013-04-11*

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This is FAQ version 3.27, released on 2013-06-07.