[lucida] math italic?

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at me.com
Thu Oct 24 10:30:31 CEST 2013

Le 24 oct. 2013 à 03:07, Sarina Bromberg <sarina.bromberg at att.net> a écrit :

> I'm working on a textbook with a publisher who will only allow me to use Open Type fonts in the figures. The entire book will be set in Lucida fonts, with Lucida New Math Alt Italic for the variables. It sure would help the students if the variables in the figures were also italic. Do you have any plans to come out with a Lucida Math Ital OT in the coming months or years?

Hi Sarina,

It's all there in the font already: that's the power of Unicode, underlying openType.

Specifically, Lucida Bright Math OT includes all the characters from the Type 1 fonts

LBMR	Lucida New Math Roman
LBMI	Lucida New Math Italic
LBMO	Lucida New Math Alt Italic
LBMS	Lucida New Math Symbol
LBMA	Lucida New Math Arrows
LBME	Lucida New Math Extension

and similar for the Demi font. There are also new characters specifically designed for the Open Type release.

The characters are there starting at Unicode slots U+1D44E; see p. 27 of


which both appear as links towards the bottom of the Lucida OpenType page


Here is a screenshot of the font in FontForge on the right, and the Mac character viewer on the left, showing the Unicode slots.

As for switching between traditional (LBMI) and alternate (LBMO) math italics, these are not separate positions in the OpenType font. Rather, the switch corresponds to the ss01 OpenType feature, with alternate italics the default; see p. 6 of


That said, as much as it's easy to switch between the two in LaTeX with fontspec, I must admit I don't know how to do this with GUI applications like Illustrator, which your publisher might be using.

Just trying now, after attempting to find my way through the various Illustrator (CS6) panels, I have the impression Illustrator can't work properly with non-standard features like +ss01: it does see them, but it doesn't offer them as stylistic alternates and every time you try to enter a variant (here traditional math italic) it outputs instead the non-variant glyph (here alternate math italic).

So it seems alternate math italic is fine, but for traditional math italic you could be in trouble. (That said, I may very well be failing to use Illustrator properly, I've always been overwhelmed by its interface and never understood it fully.)

Maybe Inkscape would work better, but I don't have it installed and I don't know whether your publisher would consider it.

Hope this helps,

Bruno Voisin
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