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When I used packages like Mathdesign and give commands like \setrmdefault{cmr} or something like this, what used to happen is the Text Font used to get lighter whereas the Math font used to be darker. Why does this happen, and how can I prevent this from happening?

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I think we need some more context here. Why would you load mathdesign, only to switch the default font back to Computer Modern? What's the point in that? What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Also, please remove the fontspec tag from this question. What does it have to do with the fontspec package? –  frabjous Aug 22 '10 at 4:03
Also, a title that gives some indication of the specific problem is needed. –  vanden Aug 22 '10 at 4:30
Actually I think you are all being unfair to Chandru1. I have the exact same issue with displaying PDF and using mathdesign + some other font. mathdesign blends the math and text fonts too well; I rather have more contrast that is why I choose a different font (eg, verdana or lucida). PDF generates gray text but black math. BTW most of the comments are just gang banging the OP for no reason but to score points. Are we in high school again? –  Apprentice Queue Apr 22 '11 at 9:35
And the issue appears to be the result of LaTeX (in my case, MiKTeX) not being able to find the font specified for the text. It will use a substitute font and will gray the text presummably to let you know. The solution is to check that you use the correct font name. –  Apprentice Queue Apr 22 '11 at 10:32
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1 Answer

up vote 37 down vote accepted


(First things first: we're all here to help. However, you can make things easier on everyone by paying attention to the way you present your questions. Please don't be put off, life is one big learning game! But also please think of the community before throwing improperly considered questions to the group - we've all got better things to do than to help those who are too lazy to first try hard themselves.)

Now to your question... frabjous essentially answered it when he asked why you had loaded mathdesign (presumably with one of the utopia, garamond or charter options), only afterwards to change your document's default Roman font to Computer Modern. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this per se. I sometimes do things like this when wanting to pair another Roman typeface with the mathdesign math font set. Still, because they pair so poorly, it seems very odd to want to mix CM with mathdesign. Computer Modern is an exceptionally light font; as you point out, too light for mathdesign.

Now, why not use garamond or charter as your primary Roman font? The mathdesign package has been specifically tuned for them. If for some strange reason you can't and you really need to stick with cmr, then why not dispense with mathdesign and \usepackage{amsfonts} with \usepackage{amssymb}?

If that doesn't suit your requirements, and you really like the 'lightness' of Computer Modern, you might consider replacing the line where you write \usepackage[...]{mathdesign} with (1) \usepackage{lmodern} or (2) with \usepackage[light]{kpfonts}, that is, with (1) Latin Modern or (2) Kepler Project fonts using the light option. Both are downloadable from CTAN.

Now, if none of that makes sense, or if it doesn't provide the answer you wanted or expected, here's what you should do:

  • as others have mentioned, post another question that more precisely describes your problem and the nature of what you want sorted out, including a better title;
  • read up on LaTeX font selection commands
  • stop trying to pair Computer Modern with mathdesign math fonts!

Anyway, Chandru, please don't be deterred. TeX/LaTeX is a powerful but confusing beast, the fun is learning how to climb that wall to tame it to your needs. We're here to help you, but show us that you've done your best to solve your own problems before hitting on us. In no time at all, you'll even be helping others! So, welcome to this board.

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Nicely detailed answer (which I'll vote for when I've got some votes available: tomorrow!) –  Joseph Wright Aug 22 '10 at 10:13
+1 That’s easily one of the most diplomatic posts I’ve seen on the internet. –  Caramdir Aug 22 '10 at 10:27
+1 Congratulations, @Geoffrey, a really good, kindly answer which addresses not only the underlying question but also the questioner's inexperience. –  Brent.Longborough Aug 22 '10 at 10:53
+1 Very nice answer. –  Bran the Blessed Aug 22 '10 at 10:56
+1 Great to see such consideration in our community! –  Martin Tapankov Aug 22 '10 at 11:01
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