I am trying to insert a special math alphabet in an equation for a physics quantity called "cavity finesse". It is basically represented by a fancy letter F, which looks like what's shown in the picture. (ref: http://mirrors.ctan.org/macros/latex/contrib/mathalpha/doc/mathalpha-doc.pdf).

After doing some research, it seems that I need to download a math package in order to use it, but most of which is not free. All I need is this only one letter from the package, and will probably use it for a couple of times only. Is there any easy way to insert it?

enter image description here

enter image description here

I am using \mathcal{F} right now (shown in the bottom picture), but it does not look as great.

  • 2
    do you want those particular fonts, or will the standard \mathcal{F} work? Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 23:47
  • I am using \mathcal{F} right now, but it just does not look great. Yes, I would prefer these particular fonts, or something similar to that, if I can get it. I tried to download a free version of mathtime package, but had trouble installing it in my computer. It was a file named "mtp2lite.zip.tpm", I couldn't open it at all.
    – Shun
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 0:09
  • Why don't you take a look at tug.dk/FontCatalogue and/or anorien.csc.warwick.ac.uk/mirrors/CTAN/info/fontsampler/… and see if there is something available which you like? This is probably going to be more productive than wishing you had fonts you don't!
    – cfr
    Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 0:33

4 Answers 4


With a default TeX installation, for example, you could produce any of these (among other options):

4 Fs

with code something like this:

\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathcalligra   {T1}{calligra} {m} {n}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathzapf       {T1}{pzc} {mb} {it}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathchorus     {T1}{qzc} {m} {n}
\DeclareMathAlphabet\mathrsfso      {U}{rsfso}{m}{n}
  • Great answer. This is the most clever and general solution to the problem.
    – GiuTeX
    Commented Aug 5, 2017 at 14:15

The dutchcal package makes the dutchcal fonts ready-to-use. They're derived from the esstix fonts, which are a times-like font, slightly reworked. If you're under MiKTeX, after installing them with MiKTeX Package Manager, as often you'll need to launch updmap in order to make the fonts completely available.


     $ \mathcal{F}\enspace  \mathbcal{F}$


enter image description here There is also a bickham package, but having the fonts really available to your TeX system is more involved, as Bickham is an opentype font, it has to be converted to type 1 with the LCDF Type Tools.


You might also try the version that is available by using \mathcal{F} with \usepackage{F}. This give what is (in my opinion) a much more pleasing calligraphic script:

enter image description here



% eucal redefines \mathcal command but keeps original
% Computer Modern version available as \CMcal
$\CMcal{F}$ Original \verb!\mathcal{F}!

$\mathcal{F}$ \verb!\mathcal{F}! with \verb!eucal! 


For more info, see Are there two different versions of the \mathcal{F} character?.


In a sample of Unicode system fonts (accessed via package unicode-math), degrees of curliness are available for the symbol shape:

script F sample


\setmathfont{XITS Math}[Colour=blue]
\setmathfontface\masana{Asana Math}
\setmathfontface\mdejavu{DejaVu Math}
\setmathfontface\mtgdeja{TeX Gyre DejaVu Math}
\setmathfontface\mpagella{TeX Gyre Pagella Math}
\setmathfontface\mbonum{TeX Gyre Bonum Math}
\setmathfontface\mschola{TeX Gyre Schola Math}
\setmathfontface\mtermes{TeX Gyre Termes Math}
\setmathfontface\mlatin{Latin Modern Math}
\setmathfontface\mcambria{Cambria Math}
\setmathfontface\mfira{Fira Math}
\setmathfontface\mlibert{Libertinus Math}
\setmathfontface\mnoto{Noto Sans Symbols}
\setmathfontface\mstixtwo{STIX Two Math}
\setmainfont{Noto Serif}

%mas = Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols block in unicode
\section {Sampling {\mfsize $\symcal{F}$}}%symbol name comes from   unicode-math-table.tex

This is script {\mfsize $\symcal{F}$} (unicode Letterlike Symbols U+2131) in math mode: 


XITS Math & \mfsize $\themassym$ & \mfsize $\mcambria \themassym$ & Cambria Math \\ 
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Asana Math & \mfsize $\masana {\themassym}$ & \mfsize $\mfira \themassym$ & Fira Math (no script series)\\ 
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
DejaVu Math & \mfsize $\mdejavu \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mfreeserif \themassym$ & FreeSerif \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Tex Gyre Bonum Math & \mfsize $\mbonum \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mlibert \themassym$ & Libertinus Math \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Tex Gyre DejaVu Math & \mfsize $\mtgdeja \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mnoto \themassym$ & Noto Sans Symbols \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Tex Gyre Pagella Math & \mfsize $\mpagella \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mqui \themassym$ & Quivira \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Tex Gyre Schola Math & \mfsize $\mschola \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mstixtwo \themassym$ &STIX Two Math \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Tex Gyre Termes Math & \mfsize $\mtermes \themassym$ & \mfsize $\mgaramond \themassym$ & Garamond-Math \\
\ &\ & \ & \ \\ 
Latin Modern Math & \mfsize $\mlatin \themassym$ & \mfsize $\msymbola \themassym$ & Symbola \\


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