I am trying to use mathpazo font, but I have some issues getting the \mathcal working with small letters

this is my template

\usepackage{geometry}                % See geometry.pdf to learn the layout options. There are lots.
\geometry{letterpaper}                   % ... or a4paper or a5paper or ... 
%\geometry{landscape}                % Activate for for rotated page geometry
%\usepackage[parfill]{parskip}    % Activate to begin paragraphs with an empty line rather than an indent



just some test  $ \infty \mathcal{l}$

  • 1
    \mathcal works only for uppercase letters; mathpazo has nothing to do with this. – egreg Jul 13 '13 at 14:26
  • so, what is the way to use small letters and mathcal ? Since I probably mathpazo does not provide lowercase calligraphs, is there a way to load the calligraph's from another font gallery ? – Alex Jul 13 '13 at 14:27

The uppercase calligraphic letters are mapped to font cmsy10. The font does only contain calligraphic uppercase letters.

Plain TeX version for font inspection

A font can be inspected using testfont.tex with plain formats (not LaTeX). LaTeX provides nfssfont.tex, derived from testfont.tex, see next section.

Example for an interactive session with testfont:

$ pdftex testfont
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode

Name of the font to test = cmsy10
Now type a test command (\help for help):)

\init switches to another font;
\end or \bye finishes the run; 
\table prints the font layout in tabular format;
\text prints a sample text, assuming TeX text font conventions;
\sample combines \table and \text;
\mixture mixes a background character with a series of others;
\alternation interleaves a background character with a series;
\alphabet prints all lowercase letters within a given background;
\ALPHABET prints all uppercase letters within a given background;
\series prints a series of letters within a given background;
\lowers prints a comprehensive test of lowercase;
\uppers prints a comprehensive test of uppercase;
\digits prints a comprehensive test of numerals; 
\math prints a comprehensive test of TeX math italic;
\names prints a text that mixes upper and lower case;
\punct prints a punctuation test;
\bigtest combines many of the above routines;
\help repeats this message;
and you can use ordinary TeX commands (e.g., to \input a file).

Output written on testfont.pdf (1 page, 72843 bytes).
Transcript written on testfont.log.

Or a driver file for non-interactive use can be created:

\input testfont

Result cmsy10

LaTeX version

\mathcal uses the mathematical symbol font (from fontmath.ltx):


Package mathpazo contains the following font definition for symbols with encoding OMS:


The latter four arguments are the same as for \usefont and are needed for nfssfont.tex. Example for an interactive session:

$ pdflatex nfssfont
This is pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.5-1.40.14 (TeX Live 2013)
 restricted \write18 enabled.
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2011/06/27>
Babel <3.9f> and hyphenation patterns for 77 languages loaded.
Document Class: article 2007/10/19 v1.4h Standard LaTeX document class
No auxiliary output files.

* NFSS font test program version <v2.2b>
* Follow the instructions

Input external font name, e.g., cmr10
(or <enter> for NFSS classification of font):


*** NFSS classification ***

Font encoding [T1]:

Font family [cmr]:

Font series [m]:

Font shape [n]:

Font size [10pt]:

Now type a test command (\help for help):)

Output written on nfssfont.pdf (1 page, 88770 bytes).
Transcript written on nfssfont.log.

The driver file for a non-interactive session can look like:


Result OMS/zplm/m/n


For "calligraphic" lowercase letters you need a different font and cannot use \mathcal.

  • Actually the symbol font defined by mathpazo is zplmr7y – egreg Jul 13 '13 at 15:07
  • @egreg: That's a virtual font. The resolved font, embedded by pdfTeX, is cmsy10.pfb. – Heiko Oberdiek Jul 13 '13 at 15:09
  • Not really: the fonts used are cmsy10, fplmr and pplr8r. The most important fact is that the OMS encoding doesn't have slots for lowercase calligraphic letters. – egreg Jul 13 '13 at 15:14
  • @egreg: Now I have also added the nfssfont variant with font OMS/zplm/m/n. – Heiko Oberdiek Jul 13 '13 at 15:37

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