[XeTeX] Coordinating fonts in text and math mode: question from a new user

Hooman Javidnia hooman.javidnia at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 20:58:39 CEST 2009

Hello there,
I am writing my dissertation and a few other documents that are
heavily mathematical. The solution that I came up with was to use
Myriad Pro as the main text font on Mac OS X. It looks beautiful (at
least to my eyes), it has both lining figures and text figures, and
most importantly, the minionpro package for LaTeX, provides all the
mathematical characters that you will need. This is the portion of
preamble where I define fonts:

% ===============================================
% = Font Specifications and XeLaTeX Definitions =
% ===============================================
\usepackage[mathlf]{MinionPro}% <- MinionPro loads MnSymbol and amsmath
\setmainfont[]{Minion Pro}
\setsansfont[]{Myriad Pro}

You can use text figures in math mode.

I am not quite sure about Hoefler Text or Adobe Caslon if they have
associated mathematical packages made for them. And I think that all
the greek symbols that you need  are also available through MinionPro
package. Here is an excerpt from the documentation of the package:

Greek letters
The following options specify whether you want to use upright or
italic Greek letters in
math mode.
mixedgreek* uppercase Greek is upright, lowercase Greek is italic
italicgreek all Greek letters are italic
frenchmath all Greek letters and the uppercase Roman letters are upright

Hope this helps and good luck with your dissertation.



On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 1:10 PM, Beau Madison Mount <bmount at princeton.edu> wrote:
> Dear members of the list,
> I apologize in advance if this is a frequently posed question, but I have found almost nothing about it -- or at least nothing at a level useful for beginners. If there is some standard how-to guide, I'd be very grateful if someone could point me to it.
> I am very new to TeX and its offspring. I downloaded MacTeX for OS X about a week ago, and I've read a few online guides, become reasonably familiar with the basic commands, and experimented a bit with XeTeX and the babeltext and fontspec packages. I'm planning to port my dissertation over and finish it in TeX, and I should like to use either Adobe Caslon or Hoefler Text as the primary font -- I haven't quite decided which. I also have occasional words and passages in ancient Greek in the text, for which I'd like to use a Porson font (probably the one produced by the Greek Font Society). So Xe(La)TeX, with its support for OpenType, seems the obvious option. This part appears relatively easy to do.
> The problem, however, is that I also have occasional things to be entered in math mode with variables and operators in Greek and in serif roman upright and italic. I want to use the same fonts for these letters in math mode that I use in text mode: anything else looks atrocious. I also want to use the old-style figures from the main font in math mode. As for the non-alphabetic mathematical symbols, I am quite happy to keep the ones from Computer Modern. [*] (As a bonus, I should like, if possible, to be able to use the true lowercase omicron and the "missing" uppercase Greek capitals in math mode.)
> I believe that this will probably require creating a virtual font. If I am wrong about that and there's an easier way, I should very much like to know before I start the project. If am right, I'd like to find something like an math mode virtual font FAQ to guide me. But I haven't seen anything like that. Is there such a thing? If not, can someone tell me if not what to do, at least how best to go about learning what to do? What should I read to learn how to do this well?
> As I said, I apologize if there's an obvious solution that I should know about. I can't imagine that I'm the first person with this combination of desiderata -- there must be many philosophers who need Greek and Classicists who need the occasional logical or mathematical symbol. Beforehand I had just assumed that this was the sort of thing XeTeX/XeLaTeX would do easily; but now that it comes time to do it, I can only find bits and pieces of information scattered in very advanced discussions, and no general guidance for beginners.
> So -- please help!
> Best,
> B. Madison Mount
> [*] (Although, if it should turn out to be feasible to use an inverted A and reversed E from the main font as universal and existential quantifiers, and a turned iota from the Greek font as a definite description operator, that would be wonderful. But if it's immensely difficult to do that, I am willing to compromise.)

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