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Consider this question theoretical in nature; an exercise to understand the TDS tree structure better. Assume one were attempting to install the comicsans package, which is part of neither of the two major distributions. (There's a question for TeX Live already.)

This is a summary of the tedious details that used to be part of this question. Since they turned out not to be relevant to the solution at all, I cleaned up this question a bit. You can see the details in this question's revision history.

Following comicsans's manual and various resources on TDS structure, I downloaded comicsans.zip, ran latex comicsans.ins, and then attempted to put all files in the right places in my user-managed TEXMF tree. There were a number of files that I don't know where to put, with extensions like .etx, .ff, .mtx or .NOTABS. Neglecting these files for the moment, I ran latex fontcomic, which gave me even more files, including .fd files, which seem to be crucial. I put these in \tex\latex\comicsans, updated my file database and the font maps, but it still doesn't work.

Do I have to put the remaining files in special places, or is there some other way to make comicsans work? Do they really expect someone who wants to use Comic Sans to understand the intricacies of the TDS system like that??

Comic Sans LaTeX ad

share|improve this question
Of course you need a .fd file. But, for obvious reasons, I won't help you in perpetrating a crime. ;-) – egreg Oct 30 '12 at 23:52
@tohecz: Ah .. as always, once you post the question, you find more stuff. It looks like I get .fd files by running latex fontcomic.tex. I'll try that and share my progress here. – doncherry Oct 30 '12 at 23:58
@egreg: I'm not actually going to use the package, but I remembered having trouble installing it a while ago and wanted to give it another shot ... now I'm astonished at how complicated it can be just to get a font wokring! It really looks like XeTeX came just in time. – doncherry Oct 31 '12 at 0:38
I'm beginning to think it's a plot ... the creators of comicsans made it impossible to get it running properly, but made it look so complicated that everyone would assume the user did something wrong during the installation process. This way, they wanted to make sure nobody would ever use Comic Sans in LaTeX. – doncherry Oct 31 '12 at 0:46
I had the pleasure of being greeted by someone wearing blog.ape-designs.de/archives/2010/04/… at a recent TeX conference. :-) – Martin Schröder Oct 31 '12 at 7:29
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Update: Meanwhile this package can be installed with the Package Manager of MiKTeX.

Why simple, when there is a complicated way?

Download comicsans.tds.zip. So no mess with where which file belongs. Not for you as the OP, but for potential unexperienced readers let me also link Create a local texmf tree in MiKTeX and Purpose of local texmf trees. That beside updating of the FNDB an entry into updmap.cfg followed by initexmf --mkmaps (as admin additionally with --admin) is necessary you’ve already mentioned.

But should I take this seriously? From comicsans.sty:


Sorry, but Comic Sans was developed for Comics and is in my eyes – depending on the context – sometimes also tolerable in headings, but not … as … the … main … font.

Going vomitting now

share|improve this answer
Whaaaaat ... ? Was this link anywhere on the CTAN site? This is incredible, my entire question seems stupid now. I didn't even have to paste the ttf font files anywhere. – doncherry Oct 31 '12 at 2:19
@doncherry: comicsans.zip … README … (Make your question a bit shorter?) – Speravir Oct 31 '12 at 2:29
Argh ... I had looked at that, but upon seeing there were four steps of the installation, and the first one being equivalent to the one in the manual, I just skimmed the rest. In defense of my blindness, I think that link should be in a more prominent position. – doncherry Oct 31 '12 at 2:40

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