[lucida] Problems with Lucida OT font typesetting

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at icloud.com
Sun May 1 14:08:52 CEST 2022

> On 1 May 2022, at 07:24, Herbert Voss <Herbert.Voss at fu-berlin.de> wrote:
>> Am 30.04.22 um 22:30 schrieb R Martinez:
>> 3. The \mathcal typeface produces the wrong output.
> set it correct. See example
> [...]
> \usepackage{lucida-otf}

For people not familiar with lucida-otf: it is a separate package for the use of Lucida OpenType, which is not installed by default and can be downloaded from CTAN at


I think it's mentioned somewhere on the TUG Lucida pages, though I can't find exactly where right now.

As for mathcal, I think what Raul meant is that \mathcal doesn't produce the same glyphs as for the Type 1 fonts, which are also the glyphs in Lucida Calligraphy OT.

As John Lienhard said, to get these, you need to load LucidaBrightMathOT.otf and LucidaBrightMathOT-Demi.otf with RawFeature=+ss04 (see §3.3 "Math features in Lucida OpenType" of lucidaot.pdf).

I do prefer the old-style mathcal too, finding the new glyphs too "cursive", appropriate for humanities maybe but a bit odd in maths. (Or maybe I just used the Type 1 fonts for too long.)

That said, MathTime Pro 2


from the recently deceased Michael Spivak, uses the same "cursive" design, calling it "script", and also offers a variant similar to Lucida's old-style mathcal, calling it "curly". So maybe the cursive design is the new mathematical norm for calligraphic letters, I don't know.

With Herbert's example, using the old-style mathcal would be a matter of writing

\setmathfont{LucidaBrightMathOT.otf}[RawFeature = {+ss04}]
\setmathfont{LucidaBrightMathOT-Demi.otf}[version = bold,RawFeature = {+ss04}]

The way I typically call Lucida OpenType fonts is like


      ItalicFont = LucidaBrightOT-Italic.otf,
        BoldFont = LucidaBrightOT-Demi.otf,
  BoldItalicFont = LucidaBrightOT-DemiItalic.otf,
      ItalicFont = LucidaSansOT-Italic.otf,
        BoldFont = LucidaSansOT-Demi.otf,
  BoldItalicFont = LucidaSansOT-DemiItalic.otf,
      ItalicFont = LucidaSansTypewriterOT-Oblique.otf,
        BoldFont = LucidaSansTypewriterOT-Bold.otf,
  BoldItalicFont = LucidaSansTypewriterOT-BoldOblique.otf,
  RawFeature = +ss04,
  version = bold,
  RawFeature = +ss04,


Lucida Bright OT  fonts \\

Problem 1: Using boldface in math mode.
The problem: I want the math symbol $\symbf{B_{3}}$ to be in boldface in math mode with $B$ not
upright. Both B and its subscript 3 should be in boldface.

This is the original in plain math.





Typeface issues.

Problem 2: The emphasis and italic typeface commands produce identical output.
Examples follow.

These illustrate the issue with \verb"\emph".

\emph{Emphasis},  \textit{\emph{Emphasis} in italic mode}

\textit{Italic}, \emph{\textit{Italic} in emphasis mode}

$\mathcal{MathCal, MATHCAL}$

$\mathcal{A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M}$

$\mathcal{N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z}$


About the above: loading both fontspec and unicode-math *before* using \setmainfont etc. is deliberate. By default, fontspec redefines some math fonts in terms of the text fonts when loading these via \setmainfonts etc., unless it notices that unicode-math is being used. Says §3.2 "Math font adjustements" of the fontspec doc:

"By default, fontspec adjusts LaTeX’s default maths setup in order to maintain the correct Computer Modern symbols when the roman font changes. However, it will attempt to avoid doing this if another maths font package is loaded (such as mathpazo or the unicode-math package)."

I don't remember exactly what the problem was, but I did experience some inconsistency in the math fonts in the past, until I realized \usepackage{unicode-math} needed to come before using \setmainfont for the first time.

Bruno Voisin

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