Today I read several articles that suggested using Type 1 fonts in LaTeX (and they claim that Type 3 fonts are the default in LaTeX, which lead to terribly rendered PDF documents). Personally I didn't quite get the technical points about font types, or the technical points about compiling to dvi, ps, and pdf. Anyway, I never got terribly rendered PDF documents either. For me, I always use ams document classes, and compile to PDF using the default LaTeX command in AUCTeX with TeX-pdf-mode turned on—kind of like pressing a GUI button, with all technical details hidden from me. I tried to follow the suggestions to switch to Type 1 font (of Computer Modern):


However, I didn't notice any difference in the outcome. Therefore, I'm curious about if Type 1 font is the default font type in ams document classes. If it is not, on the other hand, should I switch to Type 1 font (with the above code) for better quality?

As I've pointed out, I don't understand the technical points about fonts, so sorry if this question is non-sensical. (If it is, please point it out to me!)

By the way, my TeX distribution is TeXLive-2013 provided by MacTeX, in case this is relevant.

  • 1
    The packages ae and aecompl are considered obsolete. If you write in English, you shouldn't need fontenc either.
    – egreg
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:18
  • 2
    T1 is not a font type but an encoding. It has nothing to do with type1 fonts. Keep \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} but remove ae and aecompl. That's not longer needed if you have the cm-super fonts installaed (which should be the default in texlive). Jan 9, 2014 at 20:18
  • 2
    @egreg: T1 is useful for english too. E.g. try < abc > \ttfamily \{abc\} with and without T1-encoding. Jan 9, 2014 at 20:28
  • @UlrikeFischer Sorry I mixed up different concepts. Should I edit the question so it makes more sense? (Or would you please edit it for me since I'm still somewhat confused? Thanks.)
    – 4ae1e1
    Jan 9, 2014 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


the ams document classes specify only computer modern fonts, all available as type 1. however, these fonts are based on OT1 encoding, which is suboptimal for languages with accented letters.

using the "latin modern" fonts (also type 1, and based on the T1 encoding) instead usually produces good results with few significant differences in appearance.

according to the documentation for the aecompl package, the ae fonts are "virtual" fonts built mostly from the (type 1) cm fonts, except for a few characters that don't exist in the cm complement. so, in most cases, the results should be equivalent to that from using cm fonts directly.

however, given that the latin modern fonts are based on much the same model as cm, with the added advantage of having precomposed accented letters, i see no reason not to specify \usepackage{lmodern}. i know of no conflicts with the ams document classes.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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