TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using PDFLaTeX, not XeLaTeX. How could I find the short name of a specific font? For example, I known that \fontfamily{phv}\selectfont is URW Nimbus Sans (a Helvetica clone).

share|improve this question
possible duplicate of Is there a list available for all TeX fonts? – Caramdir Apr 8 '11 at 22:54
up vote 11 down vote accepted

It depends of course on your level of understanding of your TeX system. So, if you do not know the details of the ways TeX deals with fonts (for example if you don't know what a .fd file or a .map file is) then the simplest, I guess, is:

  1. consult the doc of the package allowing to use your font,
  2. and if the doc does not contain the answer, try the following:
% \renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault}
% if it is a Sans font, or perhaps rather the package had 
% a "default" option
the name of my font is \familydefault

LaTeX your document and the result should show up.

Now for the more complete answer if wxyz was the printed result, you need to find on your system ot1wxyz.fd or t1wxyz.fd which will give you all the gory details about how the files are truly named on your system (the tfm files).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.