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Palatino (or some copy of it) is very easy to use in pdfLatex -- just use package mathpazo and you're set to go.

How come Minion doesn't have such an easy-to-use package? I tried to install it using a step-by-step guide, but in the end it complained about missing some font file. And it took me a couple of hours just to get there.

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There is a package for pdfLaTeX called MinionPro. –  Philipp Dec 23 '10 at 0:06
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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

The Palatino font used with LaTeX is actually a free clone. As a result, both the font itself and the support files can be included directly in TeX distributions. It is this clone that is loaded by

\usepackage{mathpazo}

On the other hand, Minion Pro is a commercial font. As Philipp points out, there is a package containing the support files that you can download from CTAN. However, that still requires the fonts themselves.

The need for font metric files is a difficult when using TeX, which is why most people are moving to using either XeTeX or LuaTeX when they want to load system fonts. The fontspec package makes this easy in LaTeX, and so most of us would avoid the issues with generating font metric files for pdfTeX nowadays.

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Yeah, I guess the only viable option is to use XeLaTeX. Have never used or even heard of it before I visited this site. Will give that a try. Thanks. –  gablin Dec 23 '10 at 11:09
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@gablin: If you only want to use Minion Pro and nothing else (Unicode, support for arbitrary OpenType fonts, …), the MinionPro package should actually do the job. –  Philipp Dec 23 '10 at 11:58
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@Philipp: The problem is that it doesn't include the actual fonts, which is what I'm having trouble with installing. –  gablin Dec 23 '10 at 22:11
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You could produce very neat document using Minion Pro and Myriad Pro (for sans serif) through XeLaTeX. This doesn't affect the main structure of your Latex file. Here is an example of a preamble that you can use:

\documentclass[11pt]{article}
\usepackage{xltxtra}
%\usepackage{sectsty}  
\usepackage[parfill]{parskip}  
\usepackage[english]{babel}   
\usepackage{graphicx}  
\usepackage[usenames,dvipsnames]{color}
\usepackage[margin=4cm]{geometry}
\usepackage[autostyle]{csquotes}
%\usepackage[style=authoryear-comp,backref=true]{biblatex}
%\bibliography{refs}

\def\myauthor{...}
\def\mytitle{...}
\def\mycopyright{\myauthor}
\def\mykeywords{...}

\setmainfont[Mapping={tex-text},Numbers={OldStyle},Ligatures={Common}]{Minion Pro} 
\setsansfont[Mapping={tex-text},Scale=0.9]{Myriad Pro}
\setmonofont[Mapping=tex-text,Colour=AA0000,Scale=0.9]{Inconsolata} 

\title{\mytitle}
\author{\myauthor}

\begin{document}
\maketitle

text here

\end{document}

To compile, you just have to run xelatex on it.

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