I'm using LyX with the following Document Settings:

Document Class -- "Book (Memoir)"

Fonts / Default family -- "Default"

Fonts / LaTeX font encoding -- "Default"

Fonts / Roman -- "Default"

Fonts / Sans Serif -- "Default"

Fonts / Typewriter -- "Default"

What is the actual name of the Default fonts that LyX uses when the document class is set to Book (Memoir) class. How do I know if the default is "Times Roman" or "Bookman", for instance.

I see that I can change the "Default" from the dropdown menu to an actual name such as "Times Roman", "Palatino", "Bookman", "Utopia", "New Century Schoolbook" or another from several others in the dropdown list, but I'm figuring that the "Default" option must be considered the overall best option with the most versatility and readability, or if not, then atleast it must not be a poor choice.

I'd like to know what the "Default" fonts are, though, for Sans, Roman and the Typewriter settings.

Also, I'd like to know what "LaTeX font encoding" means, and what the "Default family" is. I'd like to stick with the same font family if possible, since I want a consistent look, and all the versatility such as Small Caps, Italics, many font sizes to pick from for Title, Parts, Chapters, body text, and monologue insets, and the Chapter Name / Book Name headers of each page... and the footers etc.

I'm not concerned with at all with rendering equations. The "Bookman" font looks pretty readable. Is it also versatile and recommended?

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    The default is the standard font used by TeX, i.e. Computer Modern (see also tex.stackexchange.com/questions/106474/…). Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 20:05
  • Computer Modern looks good. Since the default has a name, it would be better for LyX to label it "Computer Modern" rather than "Default"
    – user12711
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 21:03
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    @user12711 From what I understand, different document classes can use different fonts so LyX would have no way of knowing that it is indeed Computer Modern unless LyX hardcodes which document classes use which fonts (which it does not do because that is a fragile approach).
    – scottkosty
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 23:15
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    No, memoir uses Computer Modern, but other classes may use different fonts. Not sure what the best way to determine that is, perhaps generating a PDF and looking at the properties of that (e.g. tex.stackexchange.com/questions/45919/…). You could also look at the source code of the class. Commented Sep 28, 2013 at 8:30
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    Didn't see your comment until now, will write an answer of sorts. (Users generally are not notified of comments unless one writes @<username> in the comment.) Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


The Default font is whatever font is defined by the selected document class. The most used document classes – the base classes (article, report, book), KOMA classes and memoir – all use the standard TeX font, Computer Modern. Other classes may use different fonts, IEEEtran for example uses Times New Roman.

The same is, I'd think, for the default family. Most classes will probably have roman as the default, while beamer (which is for creating presentations) have sans serif as default.

To find out what what font is used by a given class, one could generate a PDF and take look at its properties, where the fonts used are listed, or possibly look at the source code of the class.

With regard to font encoding that is in short (from Glossary of TeX and LaTeX terms) ‘a mapping between source characters and glyphs in a particular font’. See also fontenc vs inputenc

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