I looked at the LaTeX template for a scientific journal and found that they are using the discouraged


See, for example l2tabuen where it says

times.sty is obsolete (see psnfss2e [10]). It does set \rmdefault to Times, \sfdefault to Helvetica, and \ttdefault to Courier. But it does not use the corresponding mathematical fonts. What's more, Helvetica is not scaled correctly which makes it appear too big in comparison. So if you want to use the combination Times/Helvetica/Courier you should use:





What are examples of where the ugliness of times is highly visible?

  • I concur on the ugliness of times (see my answer at tex.stackexchange.com/questions/166418/…). But I also think, when making an argument such as what you propose, it would be likewise good to typeset the identical material in a better font, for a side-by-side comparison. Jun 3, 2014 at 10:52
  • 3
    Simply this: xyz $xyz$ \textit{xyz} Here's a picture
    – egreg
    Jun 3, 2014 at 10:53
  • @egreg Don't forget \textsf{xyz}. Jun 3, 2014 at 10:56
  • @StevenB.Segletes Awful, but not strictly related to Times. Anybody is free to mix Helvetica with Times, just to be original. ;-)
    – egreg
    Jun 3, 2014 at 10:59
  • 1
    Does the journal use times to typeset the published article? I'm asking this because AFAIK some journals use in-house software to transform the LaTeX source to XML or whatever, and only provide LaTeX templates so that your their converter can consume your code. In this case I'd understand why they did not keep the template up to date.
    – marczellm
    Jun 3, 2014 at 18:07

2 Answers 2

\DeclareMathAlphabet{\MATHIT}{OT1}{ptm}{m}{it}%% similiar to mathptmx
\DeclareSymbolFont{Letters}{OML}{ztmcm}{m}{it}%% dito
\DeclareSymbolFontAlphabet{\mathNormal}{Letters}% dito

Setting it with package \textit{times}:\\
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw rmdefault\\\itshape
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw itshape\\$
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw$ mathnormal\\$\mathit{%
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw}$ mathit

Setting it with package \textit{mathptmx}:\\
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw rmdefault\\\itshape
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw itshape\\$\mathNormal{%
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw}$ mathnormal\\$\MATHIT{%
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvw}$ mathit

enter image description here


I find sectioning looks particularly bad in Times, perhaps because the bold sticks out like a sore thumb, overwhelming the adjacent text.

Note that this answer speaks to the general ugliness of the Times font, rather than the specific implementation of the times package.

{\centering \LARGE The \textit{Lipsum} Package\par}

\section{Paragraph ``Lorem Ipsum Dolor''}
\section{Paragraph ``Nam Dui Ligula''}
\section{Paragraph ``Nulla Malesuada Porttitor''}

Computer Modern

enter image description here

Times (aka my grandmother's typewriter)

enter image description here

  • 7
    small niggle -- as far as i know, times was never supplied on any typewriter. and whether or not your grandmother had available a typewriter with "proportional" type is highly questionable (and depends on when your grandmother did her typing) -- the ibm "executive" is the first such machine that i know of, and it didn't become available until the late 1950s. furthermore, the increments were much less fine than those for a real metal font -- "m" was 5 increments, "i" and "t" were 2 increments, and the variable spacebars were 2 and 3 increments. you kids are spoiled. Jun 3, 2014 at 12:32
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    @barbarabeeton I've been busted! Especially since my grandmother's typewriter font would probably have been Schwabacher anyhow. Jun 3, 2014 at 12:33
  • 1
    I have to disagree. First, the default size for section titles in latex is quite big when used with such a heavy bold font. Second, Times is a professionally and -- in the eyes of typographers and mine -- well designed typeface. It is narrow, yes, but for this it is eminently readable and robust. Something that cannot be said about the (forgive me) anorexic Computer/Latin Modern, which looks awful on both computer screens and modern laser printers. It is unfortunately very popular among LaTeX users to bash Times because the font reminds them of Word.
    – NauC
    Sep 21, 2014 at 21:02
  • @NauC For what it is worth, my preference is Palatino... and pretty much anything designed by Hermann Zapf. Sep 21, 2014 at 21:13

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