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Formatting Information — An introduction to typesetting with LATEX

Chapter 6: Layouts and fonts

Section 6.3: The LATEX font catalogue

The LATEX Font Catalog is a web site created and maintained by Palle Jørgensen at It lists over 200 typefaces for use with LATEX, many of them available nowhere else, with samples and links to the directories on CTAN where you can download them. You can spend many fascinating hours downloading and installing them and trying them out in your documents.

For newcomers, installing a new typeface can appear challenging, when described as I do for the manual installation of PostScript fonts in the appendix ‘Installing new fonts’ below. But the typefaces in the LATEX Font Catalog are prebuilt for LATEX, so all you have to do is download the .zip file, unzip it into your Personal TEX Directory, and move the subdirectories into the right places. A worked example is the best way to describe this.

Let’s suppose we want to install the sans-serif Kurier typeface. This is nothing to do with the Courier typewriter face, but was designed in pre-computing times by Małgorzata Budyta, and digitised and extended by Janusz M Nowacki (thanks to the GUST web site for this information).

    Installing a font from the Font Catalogue

  1. If we click on the name in the sans-serif page of the Catalog, we can see a sample paragraph, and we can click on the link at the bottom of the page to go to the CTAN directory where the typeface is stored.

  2. Here there is a brief README file, and links to the individual font subdirectories, but most importantly there is a link at the top of the page to the .zip file containing it all. Download this and unzip it straight into your Personal TEX Directory (see § A.2 below for what this is and where to create it).

  3. Now open your Personal TEX Directory in your directory browser (Windows: My Computer or just Computer; Mac: Finder; Linux: Nautilus, Thunar, or Dolphin). You will see that inside the kurier directory there are subdirectories called doc, fonts, and tex (see Figure 6.6 below).

    Figure 6.6: Layout of a font zip file downloaded from CTAN

  4. Drag and drop each of those subdirectories into your Personal TEX directory (texmf). If directories with the same names already exist, your system should ask if you want the new ones merged with the existing ones: the answer is yes, so click OK. In some typefaces there may be more subdirectories than shown here for Kurier: do the same with them all.

  5. The next step is to find the .map file that LATEX needs to set up the link between its short (‘Karl Berry’) font names and the long ones used by PDF and PostScript output. This should be in the fonts/map/dvips/fontname subdirectory of your Personal TEX Directory (see Figure 6.7 below). If not, use the kpsewhich command in a Command window to find it, or use your system’s file-finder.

    Figure 6.7: Location of the map file for a typeface downloaded from CTAN


    In this case there are many map files, but the one we want is just called (the others are there in case you only wanted to install a single font, not the whole typeface).

  6. The last step is to run the font map update program updmap to enable use of the map file. You need to do this in a terminal or command window, by typing the command

    $ updmap --enable

    This reloads all your font maps, so it takes a minute or so to run.

Once that’s done, you can \usepackage{kurier} in your documents and start using the typeface.