Installing personal TeX fonts

This web page is about installing a TeX-ready font in a personal directory. The similar but not identical process of installing new fonts in a system directory is described separately. This page will assume you have read the other one, and thus are generally aware of TeX font installation procedures.

This page is only about TeX Live 2012 and later. Earlier versions of TeX Live used an analogous but technically different procedure. (If you can report the specifics of how to do this under MiKTeX, we'd be happy to include that information.)

Warning: as soon as you have run updmap-user once (e.g., as described below), any calls to updmap-sys will be ineffective, and nothing will run updmap-user automatically. It is up to you to do it, each and every time the set of (system as well as user) fonts changes.

Thus, if possible, it is much better not to do this at all, and use TEXMFLOCAL and updmap-sys. See the TeX Live -sys vs. -user information.

The procedure

Here is a general outline for installing fonts in a personal directory:

  1. Download or construct TDS-structured trees for the font packages. See the TDS section on the system font installation page for more information.

  2. Put the TDS-structured font directories under $TEXMFHOME. Running kpsewhich -var-value=TEXMFHOME should return its default value, e.g., ~/texmf. (Aside: $TEXMFHOME can refer to multiple trees, if you want it to: use a brace-delimited comma-separated list of directories, e.g., {$HOME/dir1,$HOME/dir2} .)

  3. Create, by hand, the file $TEXMFHOME/web2c/updmap.cfg, with the needed (Mixed)Map lines for these personal-tree fonts.

  4. Run updmap-user. (Not updmap-sys.) You must run updmap from now on when any fonts change; it will not happen automatically.


Warning again: the principal downside of this is that if a new font is installed in the system directories (e.g., via tlmgr update), those map entries will not be installed. You yourself have to rerun updmap when new font packages are installed. Running updmap-sys is now a no-op.

Good luck. If you have technical questions or problems with installing fonts, please try writing For corrections to this web page, contact the TUG webmaster (link below).

$Date: 2020/11/22 17:01:30 $; TUG fonts page;
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