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My goal is to choose a "nice" font family (serif, sans serif, monospace, and "math") for my basic LaTeX template.

I know the default setting (Computer Modern's family) is a very good choice. However, I want something a bit less "by default", a bit less "used by everyone else"... Also, I would like something with an increased readability (relative to the default setting, i.e. Computer Modern) both for on paper reading and for on screen reading, and something that is at least as good with math typing and printing. Finally, I would like a solution that I could easily use on other computers or give/suggest to a friend (i.e. it should ideally come with most standard LaTeX distributions at the present time (June 2012)). These are my motivations or goals.

Initially, I used pslatex which uses Times, Helvetica, and Courier (or slightly modified versions of them). But then I discovered that pslatex is outdated, and that I should use either (just) txfonts or (the three) mathptmx, helvet ([scaled=.90]), and courier. Then I read that tgtermes is better (or at least prefered by some people). Even later (June 2012), I then heard that newtx is even better (\usepackage[varg, cmintegrals, cmbraces, ]{newtxtext,newtxmath}).

But in the newtx/newtxtext/newtxmath documentation (and the internet follow-up searches), I got very confused about using lmodern, textcomp, bm, amsmath, amsfonts, amssymb, libertine, libertineotf, libertine-legacy (edit: initial post had a mistake ('libertine-heritage')), etc...

Now I am completely lost!

Considering my motivations, what would you answer me if I asked you:

  • which ones could I use ('alone'),

  • which ones could I use together,

  • which ones "should" I use ('alone'), and

  • which ones "should" I use together?

Added "bonus" problem: I would like to keep the characters per line ratio to a nice, comfortable level (i.e. between 60 and 75), and, ideally, to be able to set it. (Please directly see, answer, and refer to: Nicely force 66 characters per line)

Note: I work on both Windows and Unix/Linux. I compile with pdflatex (sorry don't know what capitalisation makes most consensus :))

Here I present you a reduced version of my template, relevant to this question (for you to play with if you want to). Note that I added a second, updated version of this template as edit at the end of this question post. Feel free to use it.

\documentclass[draft, pdftex, a4paper, 12pt, openbib, ]{article}

\usepackage[pdftex, final, pdfstartview = FitV, linktocpage = false, breaklinks = true, ]{hyperref}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\usepackage{float}   % Improved interface for floating objects ; add [H] option

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% FONTS and ENCODING %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\usepackage{lmodern}        % Latin Modern family of fonts
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % fontenc is oriented to output, that is, what fonts to use for printing characters. 
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/44694/fontenc-vs-inputenc 
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/664/why-should-i-use-usepackaget1fontenc
% WHICH ONE TO CHOOSE?
    % \usepackage{pslatex}
    % \usepackage[varg, cmintegrals, cmbraces, ]{newtxtext,newtxmath} % libertine, uprightGreek (U.S.) or slantedGreek (ISO), 
    % \usepackage{tgtermes}                
    % \usepackage{txfonts}
    % \usepackage{mathptmx}
    % \usepackage[scaled=.90]{helvet}
    % \usepackage{courier}
% \usepackage{textcomp}     % required for special glyphs
% \usepackage{bm}           % load after all math to give access to bold math
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % inputenc allows the user to input accented characters directly from the keyboard; 
                            % utf8x : much broader but less compatible ; latin1 : old?
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/44694/fontenc-vs-inputenc

% References:
% http://www.latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6637
% ftp://ftp.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/pub/mirror/tex-archive/info/l2tabu/english/l2tabuen.pdf
% ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/info/l2tabu/english/l2tabuen.pdf
% http://xpt.sourceforge.net/techdocs/language/latex/latex32-LaTeXAndFonts/single/
% http://thirteen-01.stat.iastate.edu/wiki/LaTeXFonts
% http://www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/info/beginlatex/html/chapter8.html
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/56876/times-new-roman-fonts-and-maths-without-mathptmx


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% LAY OUT %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%
% See: http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59626/nicely-force-66-characters-per-line
% (must be after pslatex, tgterms, etc...)
% \usepackage[DIV=calc]{typearea}
%
% \usepackage[cm]{fullpage} % set 'default' full page
% \usepackage{geometry}     % margins?
\usepackage{lipsum}         % to fill in with arbitrary text
\widowpenalty = 4000        % help suppress widows,  default = 4,000 (?), from 0 to 10 000 (from 300 to 1 000 recommended, 10 000 not recommended)
\clubpenalty  = 4000        % help suppress orphans, default = 4,000 (?), from 0 to 10 000 (from 300 to 1 000 recommended, 10 000 not recommended)
\usepackage[final, babel]{microtype} % many good lay-out/justification effects, see:
                                     % texblog.net/latex-archive/layout/pdflatex-microtype/


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% AMS MATH %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \usepackage{amsmath}      % loads amstext, amsbsy, amsopn but not amssymb
                            % equation stuff (eqref, subequations, equation, align, gather, flalign, multline, alignat, split...)
% \usepackage{amsfonts}     % may be redundant with amsmath
% \usepackage{amssymb}      % may be redundant with amsmath



\begin{document}

\title{Correlation of procrastination and \LaTeX}
\author{Anne Onymous}

\maketitle

\textrm{\lipsum[11]}

\textsf{\lipsum[11]}

\texttt{\lipsum[11]}

\section{Alibaba and the 40 thieves}

\subsection{La vie est un long fleuve tranquille}

\begin{equation}
\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} e^{-x^2} dx = \left( 6 \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} \right)^\frac{1}{4}
\end{equation}

\lipsum[1-7]

\end{document}

Edit:


Trying to wrap up and put everything together (after both this post and "Nicely force 66 characters per line", I give here my template with whatever I felt was most relevant (or cool :)). Enjoy!

(Note that the .tex source file is embedded in the .pdf output file!)

(New) Template:

% \RequirePackage[l2tabu, orthodox]{nag}
    %
    % http://www.tug.org/texlive/Contents/live/texmf-dist/doc/latex/nag/nag.pdf
    % 
    % Check for many common mistakes, and give hints on what to use instead.
    % However, always refer to l2tabu for more detailed explanations.
    % Orthodox checks for pitfalls that are not technically incorrect.
    % If you know what you’re doing, omit orthodox.


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% CLASS %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\documentclass[draft, pdftex, a4paper, 12pt, openbib, ]{article} % openright, doubleside, twoside, letterpaper, a4paper, ...
% draft or final option also in:
%  - fixme
%  - graphicx
%  - hyperref
%  - microtype
%  - ...?


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% BABEL and LANGUAGES %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \usepackage{listings}                   % it is a source code printer for LATEX
                                          % \lstset{language=Python}
                                          % \lstinputlisting{source.py}   % command used to pretty-print stand alone files
\usepackage[english]{babel}               % [french, frenchb, english, ]
    % http://forum.mathematex.net/latex-f6/les-puces-avec-babel-t4256.html
    % http://www.grappa.univ-lille3.fr/FAQ-LaTeX/11.1.html


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% FONTS and ENCODING %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%
% See:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59702/suggest-a-nice-font-family-for-my-basic-latex-template-text-and-math-i-am
%

\usepackage{lmodern}        % Latin Modern family of fonts. Very much like Computer Modern, but with many more glyphs 
                            % (e.g., for characters with accents, glyphs, cedillas, etc)
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}    % fontenc is oriented to output, that is, what fonts to use for printing characters. 
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/44694/fontenc-vs-inputenc 
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/664/why-should-i-use-usepackaget1fontenc

% Change some fonts or the whole font family (i.e. serif, sans serif, monospace, and 'math')
    % \usepackage[varg, cmintegrals, cmbraces, ]{newtxtext,newtxmath}  % Other options: libertine, uprightGreek (U.S.) or slantedGreek (ISO), etc...
    % \usepackage{tgtermes}                                            % Only serif ("TeX-Gyre" text)
    % \usepackage{kpfonts}                                             % "Kepler" fonts
    % \usepackage{mathpazo}                                            % Based on Hermann Zapf's Palatino font
    % \usepackage{txfonts}                                             % More than a decade old
    % \usepackage{pslatex}                                             % Obsolete?
    %  - \usepackage{mathptmx}
    %  - \usepackage[scaled=.90]{helvet}
    %  - \usepackage{courier}

% \usepackage{textcomp}     % required for special glyphs
% \usepackage{bm}           % load after all math to give access to bold math
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} % inputenc allows the user to input accented characters directly from the keyboard; 
                            % utf8x : much broader but less compatible ; latin1 : old?
                            % http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/44694/fontenc-vs-inputenc

% See:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59626/nicely-force-66-characters-per-line
%
% pslatex is a very obsolete package and that its descendant mathptmx is rather inadequate for serious typesetting involving math.
% If you don't need mathematics, other choices based on (Linotype) Times Roman are
%  - tgtermes
%  - newtxtext (based on txfonts, but with corrected metrics) (with its companion math package newtxmath)
%
%
% See:
% http://www.latex-community.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=6637
%
% (times, helvet, courier)
% pslatex and txfonts produce (almost) same resutls.
% pslatex supposedly obsolete
% txfonts supposedly up-to-date
%
%
% See:
% ftp://ftp.rrzn.uni-hannover.de/pub/mirror/tex-archive/info/l2tabu/english/l2tabuen.pdf
% or 
% ftp://ftp.dante.de/tex-archive/info/l2tabu/english/l2tabuen.pdf
% in
% 2.3.3 pslatex.sty
%
% pslatex uses a Courier font scaled too narrowly.
% Its main disadvantage is that it does not work with T1 and TS1 encodings.
% So replace:
% \usepackage{pslatex} or \usepackage{txfonts}
% by all three:
% - \usepackage{mathptmx}
% - \usepackage[scaled=.90]{helvet}
% - \usepackage{courier}
%
%
% See:
% http://xpt.sourceforge.net/techdocs/language/latex/latex32-LaTeXAndFonts/single/
% or http://thirteen-01.stat.iastate.edu/wiki/LaTeXFonts
% or http://www.tex.ac.uk/tex-archive/info/beginlatex/html/chapter8.html
%
% When changing fonts, you can change all of the default fonts at once with the following commands:
% 
% Command     Changes the defaults to
% 
% times       Times, Helvetica, Courier
% pslatex     same as Times, but uses a specially narrowed Courier. This is preferred over Times because of the way it handles Courier.
% newcent     New Century Schoolbook, Avant Garde, Courier
% palatino    Palatino, Helevetica, Courier
% palatcm     changes the Roman to Palatino only, but uses CM mathematics
% kpfonts     "Kepler" fonts. A very nicely evolved set of fonts also based originally on Palatino, but with many special features.
%
%
% See:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59702/suggest-a-nice-font-family-for-my-basic-latex-template-text-and-math-i-am
%
% There are, of course, many other font packages, most of which provide "only" text-mode fonts.
% Among these are the "TeX-Gyre" font families: 
%  - Termes (a Times Roman clone), 
%  - Pagella (a Palatino clone), and 
%  - Schola (a Century Schoolbook clone); 
% one would load the packages tgtermes, tgpagella, and tgschola, respectively, to access these fonts.
% However, as these are text fonts, you still need to choose a suitable math font.
% 
% Still another possibility you may want to look into is the Linux Libertine font family, to be loaded via the libertine-legacy package.
% If you like this text font and wish to employ the newtxmath package, be sure to load the newtxmath package with the libertine option set;
% doing so will set up a special set of math-mode fonts that harmonizes well with the libertine text fonts.
% 
%
% See also:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/56876/times-new-roman-fonts-and-maths-without-mathptmx
%
%
% For a comparison, in:
% /home/christophe/Personal/Truc_Et_Astuce_Informatik/LaTeX/comparison_font_types/,
% see: 
% computer.pdf  lmodern.pdf  pslatex.pdf  test_font_type.pdf  three_replacements.pdf  txfonts.pdf
%


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% AMS MATH %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \usepackage{amsmath}      % loads amstext, amsbsy, amsopn but not amssymb
                            % equation stuff (eqref, subequations, equation, align, gather, flalign, multline, alignat, split...)
% \usepackage{amsfonts}     % may be redundant with amsmath
% \usepackage{amssymb}      % may be redundant with amsmath
% \numberwithin{equation}{section}  % reset equation counters at start of each "section" and prefix numbers by section number
% \numberwithin{figure}{section}    % reset figure   counters at start of each "section" and prefix numbers by section number


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% LAY OUT %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%
% See:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/59626/nicely-force-66-characters-per-line
% (must be after pslatex, tgterms, etc...)
%
% a) (but works mostly for a4paper, and changes top and bottom margin too...)
% \usepackage[DIV=calc]{typearea}
%
% or
%
% b) (but you have to choose the value and the margin ratio depending on the class...)
% \newlength{\alphabet}
% \settowidth{\alphabet}{\normalfont abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz}
% \usepackage{geometry}
% \geometry{%
% textwidth=2.5\alphabet,% (Note: 2.5 * 26 = 65)
% hmarginratio={2:3}}    % (Problem: geometry uses 2:3 as default for twoside and 1:1 for oneside,
%                        % independently of what the class thinks about the margins)

% \usepackage{layout}       % use \layout in the tex file to see the values
% \usepackage{layouts}      % it extends the functionality of layout, allowing you to do much, much more
                            % some commands: \pagelayout, \pagevalues, \pagedesign, ...
% \usepackage[cm]{fullpage} % set 'default' full page
% \usepackage{geometry}     % very customizable margins. Under some (rare) circumstances, should be loaded after hyperref
% \usepackage{anysize}      % \marginsize{left}{right}{top}{bottom}
% \usepackage{pdflscape}    % include landscape layout pages (automatically rotate pages in pdf file for easier reading)
% \usepackage{multicol}     % for multi column environment
\usepackage{lipsum}         % to fill in with arbitrary text
\widowpenalty = 4000        % help suppress widows,  default = 4,000 (?), from 0 to 10 000 (from 300 to 1 000 recommended, 10 000 not recommended)
\clubpenalty  = 4000        % help suppress orphans, default = 4,000 (?), from 0 to 10 000 (from 300 to 1 000 recommended, 10 000 not recommended)
\usepackage[final, babel]{microtype} % many good lay-out/justification effects, see:
                                     % texblog.net/latex-archive/layout/pdflatex-microtype/


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% EMBED FILEs %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\usepackage{embedfile}    % embed (attach) any files (eg tex source) to a PDF document.
                          % Currently only supported driver is pdfTEX >= 1.30 in PDF mode
\embedfile{to_post.tex}


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% EASY EDITS %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\usepackage{ifdraft}        % ask for selective behavior depending on the draft option (used for waterdraftmark, not draftmark)
% \usepackage{comment}      % provide new {comment} environment: all text inside the environment is ignored.
% \usepackage{fixme}        % allow nice comment / warning system, displayed in draft mode in right margin ; % [status=draft]
% \usepackage{lineno}       % number all lines in left margin if activated with \linenumbers
% \linenumbers


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% GRAPHICX %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% \usepackage[final]{graphicx} % options = [final]  = all graphics displayed, regardless of draft option in class
                               % options = [pdftex] = necessary (?) if import PDF files
                               % no option : when importing ps- and eps-files (?)
% \graphicspath{{../images/}}  % tell LaTeX where to look for images
% \DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.pdf, .PDF, .jpg, .JPG, .jpeg, .JPEG, .png, .PNG, .bmp, .BMP, .eps, .ps}
\usepackage{float}                      % Improved interface for floating objects ; add [H] option


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% FILIGREE %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% draftmark : newer and better package but not on Phil's computers,
% in particular, draftmark has a "ifdraft" option included...
%
\ifdraft{
\usepackage{draftwatermark} % add watermark ("draft", "confidential"...)
                            % option: [firstpage] (insert on only the first page)
\SetWatermarkText{COPY~---~DRAFT}
\SetWatermarkAngle{55}
\SetWatermarkScale{6.0}
\SetWatermarkLightness{0.85}
\SetWatermarkFontSize{12 pt}
}{}


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% HYPERREF (last) then HYPCAP %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%
% See:
% http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1863/which-packages-should-be-loaded-after-hyperref-instead-of-before
%
\usepackage[
pdftex, 
final,                      % if you do    want to have clickable-colorful links
pdfstartview = FitV,
linktocpage  = false,       % ToC, LoF, LoT place hyperlink on page number, rather than entry text
breaklinks   = true,        % so long urls are correctly broken across lines
% pagebackref  = false,     % add page number in bibliography and link to position in document where cited
]{hyperref}

% \usepackage{cleveref} % enhance cross-referencing, allow full formatting, commands:
                        % \cref, \Cref, \crefrange, \cref{eq2,eq1,eq3,eq5,thm2,def3}
                        % supposedly better than \autoref as provided by hyperref

% \usepackage[all]{hypcap} % when link to float (using hyperref), link anchors to beginning (instead of below) float


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% TITLE PAGE %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
\title{}
\author{This example's author's name.}
\date{\today}


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
% THE ACTUAL DOCUMENT %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%


\begin{document}

% desactivate microtype protrusion for all "list of..."
% \microtypesetup{protrusion=false}

% \tableofcontents
% \listoftables
% \listoffigures

% reactivate microtype protrusion after all "list of..."
% \microtypesetup{protrusion=true}

\title{Correlation of procrastination and \LaTeX}

\maketitle

\textrm{\lipsum[11]}

\textsf{\lipsum[11]}

\texttt{\lipsum[11]}

\section{Alibaba and the 40 thieves}

\subsection{La vie est un long fleuve tranquille}

% \lipsum[11]

\begin{equation}
\int_{-\infty}^{+\infty} e^{-x^2} dx = \left( 6 \sum_{n=1}^{\infty} \frac{1}{n^2} \right)^\frac{1}{4}
\end{equation}

\lipsum[1-7]

\end{document}

Cheers.

share|improve this question
6  
I just skimmed over the newtxdoc documentation - very cool package bundle! Starting from page 7, he provides a couple of examples. Seems like the combination of \usepackage{libertine} together with \usepackage[libertine]{newtxmath} provides the nicest looking formulae. I actually really really like this! Thank you for pointing those packages out. –  mSSM Jun 13 '12 at 13:00
    
@mSSM: That's another goal of my question, to tell others about these awesome packages :) –  Christophe Jun 13 '12 at 13:06
    
I used mathpazo. Looks (almost ?) like pxfonts, but has the benefit of better kerning management. Maybe it's not very original, but IMHO looks very nice. :) –  Count Zero Jun 13 '12 at 13:18
17  
It's hard to buy your excuse of not wanting Computer Modern because "it's used by everyone else" and then talk about Times. :-) This is really used by almost everybody. –  egreg Jun 13 '12 at 14:17
1  
Side note: consider changing 'when' you load hyperref –  jon Jun 13 '12 at 14:53
show 5 more comments

5 Answers

up vote 93 down vote accepted
+100

Here's a non-exhaustive list of possibilities for "nice" font families -- which I take to mean that they provide both text and math fonts -- for use with pdflatex.

  • Computer Modern -- the default font family for TeX and LaTeX, i.e., the font family that's used if no other font family is loaded.

    The following image represents the output of the MWE listed at the end of this posting using the Computer Modern fonts. (All subsequent images use the same MWE but load one or more additional font-related packages.)

enter image description here

  • lmodern -- Latin Modern. Very much like Computer Modern, but with many more glyphs, e.g., for characters with accents, cedillas, ogoneks, etc. Very useful if the language you write your documents in isn't English (which has, of course, very little need for these additional glyphs).

    If the following image strikes you as near-identical to the one above, that's of course no accident, given the close dependence of the Latin Modern fonts on the Computer modern fonts. (Hint: When comparing the two images, look closely at the word "Let" that starts the theorem's statements. In this word, the space between the "e" and the t" is ever so slightly wider for CM than it is for LM. I was able to detect this difference only by switching back and forth rapidly between the two images. To detect any more-significant differences between the two fonts, it's probably necessary to display various accented characters.)

enter image description here


  • mathpazo -- based on Hermann Zapf's Palatino font

enter image description here

  • kpfonts -- "Kepler" fonts. A very nice set of fonts, based originally on Palatino, but highly evolved and outfitted with many special features. Global options for upright and slanted Greek math-mode characters, oldstyle numerals, and options to load lots of quaint (i.e., archaic) glyphs including the historic long-s. Comparing the result of the MWE compiled with the kpfonts and mathpazo packages, some important differences are immediately visible when looking at the integral and sum symbols and lowercase Greek letters such as \gamma.

enter image description here


  • mathptmx -- based on the Times Roman font. Times Roman (and its close cousin, Times New Roman) must surely among the world's most ubiquitous fonts. Whether that's an advantage (or not...) will depend importantly on your sense of aesthetics.

enter image description here

  • The math alphabet that comes with the mathptmx package is passable, but if you really want good-looking mathematics in Times Roman, consider purchasing the MathTime Pro 2 package. This commercial package, which provides only math-mode fonts, provides optically scaled small glyphs for use in first- and second-level sub- and superscripts, good-looking large operator symbols (sums, integrals, ...), as well as many other goodies.

    Here's the displayed equation from the residue theorem, still with Times Roman text fonts but now with the math fonts of the mtpro2 package. Notice, in particular, the shapes of the integral and summation symbols.

enter image description here

  • Addendum, 2014/03/13: The stix font package provides yet another Times clone; the following uses v1.1.0 of the stix fonts, package date 2012/12/23. The shape of the summation symbol is clearly quite close to that of the mathptmx package shown above, and not particularly similar to that of the mtpro2, txfonts or newtxmath fonts (see below). The integral symbol provided by the stix package quite slanted, as well as quite tall.

enter image description here

  • txfonts -- another package based on Times Roman, by Young Ryu. It's been around for more than a decade. Its glyph shapes are pleasing but the font suffers from inconsistent font metrics that can cause collisions between adjacent letters. Observe in particular the shape of the integral symbol: Its shape is very different from that provided by the mathptmx and mtpro2 packages (or, for that matter, the Computer/Latin Modern font families) and is, instead, quite similar to the shape provided by the kpfonts package.

enter image description here

  • Starting in the first half of 2012, the txfonts package has been revised and improved considerably. The new version, by Michael Sharpe, is called newtx. It's a package with two sub-packages -- newtxtext and newtxmath. The newtxtext package loads clones of Helvetica and of a monospaced font to provide reasonably well matched sans-serif and "typewriter" fonts.

enter image description here


  • The Linux Libertine font family, to be loaded via the libertine package. If you like this text font and wish to employ it with the newtxmath package, be sure to load the newtxmath package with the libertine option; doing so will set up a special set of math-mode fonts that is meant to harmonize well with the Libertine text fonts.

enter image description here

  • Addendum, 7 Feb 2013: Upon the request of @mforbes (see also his/her separate answer), I'm reproducing here the output of the MWE if one uses the Palatino text font together with the AMS Euler (eulervm) math font. Since both fonts were designed by the same person (Hermann Zapf!), it's not a coincidence that they work together rather well. Note also that because the "Euler" fonts have an upright rather than slanted appearance, the text part of the Residue Theorem's statement is set in upright letters rather than in italics.

enter image description here


As I noted at the very beginning of this answer, this list is by no means intended to be exhaustive. Nevertheless, I hope it'll give you a good start if you need to choose a set of fonts.

There are, of course, many other font packages, most of which provide "only" text-mode fonts. Among these are the "TeX-Gyre" font families Termes (a Times Roman clone), Pagella (a Palatino clone), and Schola (a Century Schoolbook clone); one would load the packages tgtermes, tgpagella, and tgschola, respectively, to access these fonts. However, as these are text fonts, you still need to choose a suitable math font.


Here's the code that generated the images showing the residue theorem. Be sure to un-comment the appropriate font-related \usepackage statements.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{ntheorem}
\newtheorem{theorem}{Theorem}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\DeclareMathOperator{\Res}{Res}

%% Choose one of the following (if not choosing the default, 
%% viz., Computer Modern, font family):
 %\usepackage{lmodern}
 %\usepackage{mathpazo}
 %\usepackage{kpfonts}
 %\usepackage{mathptmx}
 %\usepackage{times,mtpro2}
 \usepackage{stix}
 %\usepackage{txfonts}
 %\usepackage{newtxtext,newtxmath}
 %\usepackage{libertine} \usepackage[libertine]{newtxmath}
\begin{document}\pagestyle{empty}
\begin{theorem}[Residue Theorem]
Let $f$ be analytic in the region $G$ except for the isolated 
singularities $a_1,a_2,\dots,a_m$. If $\gamma$ is a closed 
rectifiable curve in $G$ which does not pass through any of the 
points $a_k$ and if $\gamma\approx 0$ in $G$, then
\[
  \frac{1}{2\pi i}\int_\gamma\! f = \sum_{k=1}^m 
  n(\gamma;a_k)\Res(f;a_k)\,.
\]
\end{theorem}
\end{document}

Addendum, 2012/06/15 -- A personal note: the upvotes on this answer earned me, earlier today, my 100th "badge" from TeX.SE. What a great site! You, fellow users, readers, and contributors to TeX.SE, are the one that make it great! Many thanks to all of you.

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here you'll find the "Survey of Free Math Fonts for TeX and LaTeX"

http://www.tug.org/pracjourn/2006-1/hartke/hartke.pdf

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2  
it's a bit out of date, though. since then, we've gained newtx (at least) among type 1 fonts, and at least 4 free open type maths fonts. the uk faq is similarly out of date... –  wasteofspace Jun 15 '12 at 19:29
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If you do not have the Adobe reader installed, locate a copy for your operating system and install it. Locate the directory where the MinionPro font are installed and copy them to a temp-directory.

Direct you browser to this directory at CTAN and read the README on how to install the MinionPro` font for LaTeX.

Read the documentation for the MinionPro package. Add the following to your preamble:

\usepackage[footnotefigures]{MinionPro}
\input{glyphtounicode}
\pdfgentounicode=1
\renewcommand{\scdefault}{ssc}
\usepackage[scaled=0.85]{luximono} % Monospace font
\usepackage[letterspace=160,babel=true,tracking=true,kerning=true]{microtype}

Then you can start using one of the most beautiful fonts made. In my documents (agreement, memos, legal opinions, etc.), I do not use any sans serif fonts (neither any boldface). Have look at the package classicthesis to get tips on how to compose nice looking documents.

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8  
If the original MinionPro package does not work for you, you can try the updated version by me: FontPro. You have to generate the metrics yourself, though (also done by the script, see the README). –  sebschub Jul 20 '12 at 8:25
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I really like Bitstream Charter. It has been designed for low-resolution laser printers and is very readable but still good looking. It has been donated by Bitstream to the X Consortium and is thus freely available (\usepackage{charter}, CTAN). It does not contain real small caps though.

Charis SIL is a free derivate that provides more glyphs. There is still a commercial version of Charter that contains small caps, ranging figures and additional glyphs.

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3  
You can get math support with \usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}, by the way. –  Dylan Moreland Jul 20 '12 at 2:45
    
It should be noted that various glyphs in that font don't look to good. For example some of the blackboard bold letters (\mathbb M for example - if I recall correctly), the spacing around $f$ isn't too good either and \left\langle foo \middle\vert bar \right\rangle makes the middle bar the wrong height when foo and bar are too high. –  kahen Aug 4 '12 at 15:53
1  
And there is also \usepackage{XCharter} which offers many features (like small caps). –  Manuel Feb 26 at 22:18
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Here is one combination omitted by Mico that I use extensively: mathpazo for text (based on Palatino) and AMS Euler (eulervm) for math:

Palatino (mathpazo) with Euler (eulervm) for math.

Both fonts were designed by Hermann Zapf and harmonize quite well together. Since they are freely available, I can also use this for papers on http://arXiv.org for example. They are not quite so space efficient as other combinations (Minion Pro + AMS Euler works well for this purpose), but I find are much easier to read – especially on screen – than many of the other combinations (esp. the * Modern and Times based fonts.)

As AMS Euler is an upright math font, it does not look very nice when inserted in the midst of extended italic text. As a result, I felt it necessary to restyle the theorem environment somewhat to use roman text.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}

\usepackage[tracking]{microtype}

\usepackage[sc,osf]{mathpazo}   % With old-style figures and real smallcaps.
\linespread{1.025}              % Palatino leads a little more leading

% Euler for math and numbers
\usepackage[euler-digits,small]{eulervm}
\AtBeginDocument{\renewcommand{\hbar}{\hslash}}

\usepackage{ntheorem}

% No easy way of putting the theorem description in italics?
% It seems I need to define a new style...
\makeatletter
\newtheoremstyle{mystyle}% 
   {\item[\hskip\labelsep \theorem@headerfont ##1\ ##2\theorem@separator]}% 
   {\item[\hskip\labelsep \theorem@headerfont ##1\ ##2\ \textit{(##3)}\theorem@separator]}
\makeatother
\theoremstyle{mystyle}
\theoremheaderfont{\scshape}
\theorembodyfont{\upshape}

\newtheorem{theorem}{theorem}
\usepackage{amsmath}
\DeclareMathOperator{\Res}{Res}

\begin{document}\pagestyle{empty}
\begin{theorem}[Residue Theorem]
Let $f$ be analytic in the region $G$ except for the isolated 
singularities $a_1,a_2,\dots,a_m$. If $\gamma$ is a closed 
rectifiable curve in $G$ which does not pass through any of the 
points $a_k$ and if $\gamma\approx 0$ in $G$, then
\[
  \frac{1}{2\pi i}\int_\gamma\! f = \sum_{k=1}^m 
  n(\gamma;a_k)\Res(f;a_k)\,.
\]
\end{theorem}
\end{document}
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1  
I've always wondered what is the reason for italic/slanted text in theorems? –  morbusg Feb 7 '13 at 18:57
1  
@morbusg You need to know where exactly the Theorem ends and possible comments start. –  tohecz Feb 9 '13 at 21:38
    
One should include a symbol, or a blank line, or some sort of signal to indicate the end of the theorem if not using italics, or indentation. (Or maybe demand that theorem statements etc. be a single paragraph long.) –  mforbes Feb 10 '13 at 8:54
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