I have a ttf font that I like and I would like to use it in my documents, the creators of this fonts are also sharing a folder called src with otf and vfb files in it with this patterns:

  • Font-Regular.otf
  • Font-Regular.vfb
  • Font-Regular-OTF.vfb
  • Font-Regular-TTF.vfb

Since I haven't found a really good guide about how to make a LaTeX font out of a ttf one, I'm wondering if and how I can use those files in my LaTeX documents, thanks.

  • 4
    VFB files are FontLab (a font editor) internal file formats, so they are of no use other than opening them with it. For OTF or TTF fonts you can use XeTeX or LuaTeX if you want to avoid the pain of setting them up in PDFTeX. Jul 30, 2013 at 7:47
  • @KhaledHosny the problem is that for the really short period of time I have used latex for my documents, I have learned that using extensions it's not really worth the trouble, especially because in the latex world there are really old packages, and packages that are newer, extensions often times do not work out of the box and some tools are platform-specific. So I would like to know what is the internal representation of a font in latex so at least, after "facing the pain" of a conversion, I can at least work with a real latex font without the need for packages or extra tools. Jul 30, 2013 at 7:52
  • 1
    Check the “Related” links on the right side of the page, some of them should answer your question (like the one mentioning otfinst.py). Jul 30, 2013 at 7:54
  • @KhaledHosny it's exactly what I'm trying to avoid, I'm trying to get "native" font metrics for latex out of this, the problem is that I have no idea what is the internal representation of a font accepted by latex and how its font-cache ( if any ) works. I would like to read something about this and know about to create this kind of fonts. Jul 30, 2013 at 8:21

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, TeX (and LaTeX) knows only boxes. The information for a character (which is a box) is contained in the .tfm files.

The simplest way to go, at least if you don't use the font for mathematical formulae, is to use the fontspec package and compile with xelatex. Just write in the preamble: \setmainfont{name-of-the-font}, where name-of-the-font is its name, as known to your operating system – if you want to use Sabon Next LT Pro, just say:

\setmainfont{Sabon Next LT Pro}

You must not use the inputenc and fontenc packages, but must ensure that your source code is in utf8 encoding.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .