# How to insert a special math alphabet

I am trying to insert a special math alphabet in an equation for a physics quantity called "cavity finesse". It is basically represented by a fancy letter F, which looks like what's shown in the picture. (ref: http://mirror.unl.edu/ctan/macros/latex/contrib/mathalfa/mathalfa.pdf).

After doing some research, it seems that I need to download a math package in order to use it, but most of which is not free. All I need is this only one letter from the package, and will probably use it for a couple of times only. Is there any easy way to insert it?

I am using /mathcal{F} right now (shown in the bottom picture), but it does not look as great.

-
do you want those particular fonts, or will the standard \mathcal{F} work? – David Carlisle Mar 14 '14 at 23:47
I am using \mathcal{F} right now, but it just does not look great. Yes, I would prefer these particular fonts, or something similar to that, if I can get it. I tried to download a free version of mathtime package, but had trouble installing it in my computer. It was a file named "mtp2lite.zip.tpm", I couldn't open it at all. – Shun Mar 15 '14 at 0:09
Why don't you take a look at tug.dk/FontCatalogue and/or anorien.csc.warwick.ac.uk/mirrors/CTAN/info/fontsampler/… and see if there is something available which you like? This is probably going to be more productive than wishing you had fonts you don't! – cfr Mar 15 '14 at 0:33

You might also try the version that is available by using \mathcal{F} with \usepackage{F}. This give what is (in my opinion) a much more pleasing calligraphic script:

Code:

\documentclass[]{article}
\usepackage{eucal}
\begin{document}

% eucal redefines \mathcal command but keeps original
% Computer Modern version available as \CMcal
$\CMcal{F}$ Original \verb!\mathcal{F}!

$\mathcal{F}$ \verb!\mathcal{F}! with \verb!eucal!

\end{document}


For more info, see Are there two different versions of the \mathcal{F} character?.

-

With a default TeX installation, for example, you could produce any of these (among other options):

with code something like this:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\DeclareFontFamily{T1}{calligra}{}
\DeclareFontShape{T1}{calligra}{m}{n}{<->s*[1.44]callig15}{}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathcalligra   {T1}{calligra} {m} {n}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathzapf       {T1}{pzc} {mb} {it}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathchorus     {T1}{qzc} {m} {n}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathrsfso      {U}{rsfso}{m}{n}
\begin{document}
\Huge
\noindent
$\mathzapf{F}$\marginpar{Zapf}\\
$\mathchorus{F}$\marginpar{tgchorus}\\
$\mathcalligra{F}$\marginpar{calligra}\\
$\mathrsfso{F}$\marginpar{rsfso}\\
\end{document}

-

The dutchcal package makes the dutchcal fonts ready-to-use. They're derived from the esstix fonts, which are a times-like font, slightly reworked. If you're under MiKTeX, after installing them with MiKTeX Package Manager, as often you'll need to launch updmap in order to make the fonts completely available.

    \documentclass{article}
\usepackage{dutchcal}

\begin{document}
$\mathcal{F}\enspace \mathbcal{F}$

\end{document}


There is also a bickham package, but having the fonts really available to your TeX system is more involved, as Bickham is an opentype font, it has to be converted to type 1 with the LCDF Type Tools.

-