I am writing a file with Plain TeX using the harvmac macro. I have always used LaTeX until now. Two related questions about harvmac Vs. mathematical fonts:

  1. I tried adding \input amstex to get the "equivalent" of the amsmath package for LaTeX. When I did so, I got errors in compiling the calligraphic font. Expressions like ${\cal M}$ were correctly compiled before, and give me error when \input amstex is added. How can I have both?

  2. How do I get the \mathbb and all the other options in the amsfonts package?


  • 3
    Please could you post a Minimum Working Example which demonstrates the problem. That makes it easier for people to help you and increases the chances you'll get useful responses. It might help to know why you want to do things this way. That is, plain TeX is not going to be 'equivalent' to LaTeX unless you define all the stuff LaTeX defines. But then you should just use LaTeX...
    – cfr
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 4:18
  • BTW: Welcome to TeX.SX! Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 5:47
  • 1
    If you only need the fonts, you can \input amssym, after which with \Bbb you get the same as \mathbb.
    – morbusg
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 8:02

1 Answer 1


It's actually called \Cal (note the capital C):

\input amstex
%\input harvmac % I don't have it installed, so I commented it out
\Cal A \Bbb B

I believe that unlike the normal plain TeX \cal which changes the \family from thereon after, the commands \Cal and \Bbb take an argument (so, \Cal{ABC}).

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