TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a free font for tex and acolytes that can be extended by the user? Let's say I'm using Libertine together with a relevant maths font but a specific sign is missing. I would like to be able to draw it and then use it within my documents, thus avoiding to use extra packages (and subsequent possible font and maths alphabet limits). Thanks.

share|improve this question
Could you be specific about what you mean by "draw it"? Do you mean, with an external program? With TikZ commands? Compose it out of characters from other fonts? In any case, I don't see any issues. – frabjous Jan 3 '11 at 16:47
draw it something like fontforge or anysoft dealing with real fonts. I want to avoid the usual font family limits of tex and I'd like to be able to replace some of the existing symbols by mine. – pluton Jan 5 '11 at 16:10
@pluton: you can create your own virtual font which can characters from any font. Have a look into mathptmx how it does define the math part. You should also find some description about virtual fonts. They have the file extension .vf – Herbert Jan 14 '11 at 17:25
@Herbert: thanks, I've heard about virtual fonts. I should investigate. I'll try to have a look at mathptmx also.I'm currently reading <xml.web.cern.ch/XML/lgc2/xetexmain.pdf > to better understand fonts. – pluton Jan 14 '11 at 17:29
@pluton: You should revert your "Edit 1" since you just posted this as a new question. – Hendrik Vogt Jan 15 '11 at 17:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I redefined the : character to show also the ? from the default font ztmcm. The right ? is now from the zplm font

\DeclareMathSymbol{:}{\mathbin}{operators}{"3F}% only for demo


\scalebox{20}{$: ?$}

share|improve this answer
thanks but what happens if I want a ? with a cross over it: I am willing to draw this and include it in an existing set of symbols and then define a new key combination to access it. – pluton Jan 3 '11 at 16:32
Why does it need to be "included in an existing set of symbols"? Why can't you just define a command for it? – frabjous Jan 3 '11 at 17:04
I am just thinking of a file storing all personal symbols like, for instance, the \mathfrak{T}, the \int from the MnSymbol list and a new \textbaro that could be then called through specific key combinations – pluton Jan 3 '11 at 17:29
@pluton: it would have been a good idea if you had this also written in your first question ... – Herbert Jan 3 '11 at 18:50
sorry, original messages are not always very clear and personal considerations may then vary with other users' suggestions. Also, your code is probably part of the whole process. I'm currently having a look at fontforge. – pluton Jan 3 '11 at 18:55

You draw it?

% \usepackage{graphics}

For math symbols, for example

share|improve this answer
when I said that I could draw it, I was meaning "as an usual font" in fontforge, for instance. A drawing as such is not of interest because the usual font features (size, family, ...) will be lost. – pluton Jan 3 '11 at 17:26
Well, I think @Herbert has shown how to define a math symbol in LaTeX NFSS scheme. You have to install the font yourself. It's somehow complicated. See manual of fontinst (or fontinstallationguide) and fntguide for this topic. – Leo Liu Jan 3 '11 at 17:36
yes, it is somewhat complicated. Maybe using the new unicode features with xelatex could be a solution. Thanks – pluton Jan 5 '11 at 14:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.