[texhax] MikTeX and AMS Fonts

Barbara Beeton bnb at ams.org
Thu Aug 14 18:33:26 CEST 2003

i've checked our tech-support archives.  you wrote to ams
in april 2002, and we did tell you to download the fonts,
and in which manuals to look for instructions installing
and using them.  not hearing again from you, we assumed
that your problem had been solved.  so i'm not sure who
has directed you to the online documentation.

in any event, what you need to do is add this line into
the preamble of your file (between \documentclass and


then \mathbb{...} should work.

if you get a complaint from latex that this file can't
be found, you should first look to see if you have it.

you say you are using miktex.  we don't use that here,
so i'm unable to give you first-hand instructions, but
i believe that miktex uses what is known as the "tds" (tex
directory structure) organization, so here is what to look
for.  there should be an area at or near the root called
"texmf".  assuming that is the root, the files cited above
should be in the subdirectory


if they're not there, you will have to install them.
you are probably better off retrieving these files from
ctan than from the ams (they're mirrored regularly, so
ctan always has the current versions).  they can be found
in the area


and the files you absolutely need are these:
 - amsfonts.sty
 - umsa.fd
 - umsb.fd
it's my opinion that you'd be better off getting all the
files in that area (excluding the ones in the "obsolete"
subdirectory), but you seem adamant that you want only the
one font.

if latex complains that it can't find the font (msbm), then
you'll need to figure out why.  again, if you haven't been
able to understand the amsfonts user's guide, here is a more
compact version.

you will need two kinds of files: tfm (metrics) and pfa
(shape descriptions).  on a tds tree, they should be located
in these areas:


below "type1" the arrangement depends on the source of the
fonts.  i don't know what fonts the miktex installation
comes with, so someone else may have to help here.

poke around to see if you can find msam10.tfm and msbm10.tfm;
however, if you find them, then latex should have too, and
the problem is in the path that is being searched.  if you
don't find them, retrieve them from ctan:


get all sizes -- msam5 - msam10 and msbm5 - msbm10; but
see below.

also look to see if you can find msam10.pfb and msbm10.pfb;
these will only be needed when you get to printing.  if you
find them, then you shouldn't need to do anything.  but if
you don't you will need to retrieve them from ctan.  for
these, the amsfonts type 1 distribution contains only sizes
5, 7 and 10, but the bakoma distribution contains all sizes:


they're supposed to be equivalent to the ams versions, and
to use the same metrics, but to be absolutely safe you might
consider getting the bakoma tfm files instead.


i hope this will permit you to use the blackboard bold in
your document.

we do try to make both our manuals and online documentation
usable by ams authors, some of whom have negligible computer
experience, but can only improve this material with the help
of suggestions and comments telling us what can't be understood.
if you can point out specific areas of the ams documentation
that aren't understandable, please let us know, and we'll try
to improve it.
					-- barbara beeton

---------- Original message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Aug 2003 15:51:34 -0400
From: Christopher Apelian <CAPELIAN at drew.edu>
To: support at tug.org
Subject: [texhax] MikTeX and AMS Fonts


I'm new to LaTeX, and have been writing a math text using MikTeX and
WinEdt... I have been trying to add the blackboard font (tex command
\mathbb{}) to my document, but to no avail.  Everyone tells me to
contact AMS for help, but all they do is direct me to the online
Help!  Is there any possibility that someone might be able to
easily explain to me how to add this one font style to my current
version of MikTeX so that it will recognize it and show it properly?
I did download the files that I was directed to at the AMS site,
but I admit that the instructions that came with it are too difficult
for me to figure out... any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your consideration.

C. Apelian
Drew University

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