[OS X TeX] comprehensive font families and abbreviation?

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Mon Dec 29 21:04:12 CET 2008

On Mon 29th Dec, 2008 at 11:05, Duke seems to have written:

> On 12/28/08 6:25 PM, cfrees at imapmail.org wrote:
>> On Sun 28th Dec, 2008 at 17:28, Duke seems to have written:
> Ha ha, I like this header of yours! "Seems to have written", why? Isnt that I 
> wrote it?

One can never be entirely certain... Especially with the security holes
in certain email programs. Also, some email programs don't cope well
with multiple users (Mulberry used to be like this). So "seems" is

>>> Hi folks,
>>> I want to change font properties for just a single sentence (or 
>>> paragraph), and after googling I came up with
>>> {\fontfamily{FONTNAMEABBR}\selectfont
>>> The quick brown fox jumps over the sleazy dog.
>>> }
>>> where FONTNAMEABBR is the abbreviation of the font family that I want to 
>>> use, for example, cmr for Computer Modern Roman, phv for Helvetica etc. I 
>>> have two questions:
>>> 1. Where can I find a comprehensive list of font families together with 
>>> samples AND abbreviations? I found the following list with nice sample
>>> http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/allfonts.html
>>> but I dont know how I can use these fonts because there is nothing about 
>>> their abbreviations.
>> As far as I know, there is no single, comprehensive source of this
>> information. (If you discover one, please let me know. :)
>> Many fonts - those which have standard abbreviations - are listed in
>> fontname. See
>> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/doc/fontname/fontname.pdf for an
>> overview and the other files in
>> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/doc/fontname/ for alternative
>> formats etc. You can also look at the map files for fontname in
>> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/fonts/map/fontname/.
>> These won't include samples, of course. You will have to find those
>> elsewhere.
> Unfortunately, it seems like you are correct. I did a lot of search and found 
> nothing.
>> Not all fonts use the fontname scheme so this won't cover all the
>> possibilities. If you know the font you want and it provides a LaTeX
>> package file, you should find the family name in that. You can also
>> discover it by simply listing the relevant LaTeX directory contents if
>> it provides font definition files.
>> Consider /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/tex/latex/antp/, for
>> example. This directory contains a package file (antp.sty) which
>> reveals the family as "antp". You could also glean this from the font
>> definition files (ot4antp.fd and qxantp.fd) which are _usually_ named
>> as (abbreviated encoding) + (family name/abbreviation) + (.fd).
>> In some cases, the documentation may also tell you but not always as it
>> may assume you will enable the font by loading the package provided and
>> thus hiding the underlying font selection commands.
> Should it be consistent with the system fonts as well? Even in the case you 
> load it, if your mac system does not have that font, will it show the font?

If the font is not installed for TeX, typesetting will produce an
error(s) and you'll just get the default fonts (likely CM). If the font
is installed for TeX, it should work. Whether it is installed for OS X
generally is irrelevant unless you're using Xe(La)TeX. That is, there's
a distinction between the font being installed for OS X (e.g. in
/Library/Fonts, ~/Library/Fonts or /System/Library/Fonts unless this
has changed in Leopard) and its being installed for TeX. The latter is
what counts - and all that counts - if you're using (pdf)(La)TeX. The
fonts are (almost certainly) getting embedded in the documents you
produce if you are using a standard-ish pdfLaTeX setup, for example.
You can view the pdf in any pdf viewer on any system and see the fonts.
It doesn't matter whether the system has the fonts or not. Things only
get complex if you *don't* embed (at least a subset of) a font you use
and then try to view the pdf on a system/in a viewer that can't access
its own copy of the font. There are two main reasons to produce such
pdfs: (1) the font licence forbids embedding; or (2) embedding makes
the document too large.

But now I'm going off at a tangent. The main thing is it doesn't matter
whether the font is installed for OS X - only whether it is installed
for TeX.

>>> 2. How do I know the font I want to use is already installed in my system 
>>> and that I can use it?
>>> FYI, I use 10.5.6 with MacTex 2008 (full package).
>> (1) Try it.
>> or (2) Search locally for it (if you know a relevantly named file).
>> or (3) Use tlmgr to show information (if you know the name of the
>> package).
>> or (4) Search CTAN for it and see if it is listed as included in TeX
>> Live.
>> or (5) Look on the TeX on Mac OS X wiki:
>> http://mactex-wiki.tug.org/wiki/index.php?title=Typefaces. I'd like
>> this to include at least what's in TL and available on CTAN, together
>> with samples. It falls far short of that right now - especially on the
>> samples front. (Hint, hint: LaTeXiT seems to be the best option for
>> producing samples.) There are links to additional sources of
>> information here, too, including samples. The Font Tools page lists
>> some utilities for making your own.
>> Note that LaTeX support and the fonts themselves are not always
>> packaged together. In the case of commercial fonts for which free
>> support packages are available, this is obvious. But it is true in
>> other cases as well.
>> If you know which font you want to use, somebody will likely be able to
>> tell you the answers more easily than anybody can provide instructions
>> for finding the answers, I'm afraid.
> Agreed. I was able to find the necessary information for the font I want to 
> use, but obviously I can not give the detail instructions like you or Peter. 
> I know I am just a "so-so" Texer :).

You mean: we are in a position to describe all the problems we can't
provide solutions to! (At least in the case of 'I'!)

- cfr

> Thanks,
> D.

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