I want to get Gill Sans working as the sans serif font of my LaTeX documents, but I have yet to find a way of doing this, even though it is installed on my system.

In my search for a solution I came across the following paper by Gerben Wierda, Thomas A. Schmitz and Adam T. Lindsay:


It seems clear that they did the piece of work that I want, and they even detail how others might recreate their success. Unfortunately I have not the foggiest idea of what most of it means.

At first I thought it would be as simple as including the command \usepackage{gtamacgillsans}, which was one of the products of the paper, but I was proven wrong immediately by an error-message from pdfLaTeX. I suppose this has to do with me not using Gerben's TeX distribution, but I am not really sure.

At any rate, I really hope someone might spoon feed me the contents of the paper so that I might do the things they did to get Gill Sans working, because I wouldn't even know where to start otherwise. My starting point seems to be vaguely similar to theirs (operating system, font already installed), even though it's now 8 years later.

If not, at least give me a firm ``It can't be done''.

  • 2
    Unfortunately, gw-TeX is a dead project. I don't think there is any easy way for this; you can however use XeLaTeX and fontspec.
    – egreg
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 8:01
  • Yes, so I learned after a bit of reading. Could you elaborate on XeLaTeX, or maybe even point me somewhere helpful?
    – Delta t
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 8:05
  • 2
    \usepackage{fontspec}\setmainfont{Gill Sans}, works with LuaLaTeX as well. (Just a showcase, you can use this locally by passing the command \fontspec{Gill Sans} to the compiler.)
    – 1010011010
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 8:37
  • 1
    My memory may be a bit fuzzy, but I seem to recall that the work done on gw-TeX was a precursor of sorts for XeLaTeX. At least, I recall reading somewhere that the main developers of XeLaTeX built on the experiences made during the development of gw-TeX.
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 9:24
  • At least if you have old versions of the system fonts, you can still use the gtamacfonts packages with pdfLaTeX or ConTeXt. However, I don't know whether the package is available and I don't know whether you could do this with current versions of the fonts. (The packages were designed to use truetype fonts.) Gill Sans has definitely changed since the name of the font I have is Gill Sans and not Gill Sans MT as reported in Mico's answer. Xe/LuaLaTeX will definitely be more straightforward if that's an option and unless you have older versions of the fonts.
    – cfr
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


On a MacOSX system, you should nowadays use either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX to access system fonts.

In the case of Gill Sans, the system name is "Gill Sans MT", so that's what's used in the following example. If you want to use this font for the entire document, replace the instruction \setsansfont with \setmainfont.

enter image description here

%% Compile with either XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX
\setsansfont{Gill Sans MT} % font name may be different on non-MacOSX systems
\newcommand\qbf{The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.\par}
  • Thank you very much! I do not feel completely safe about switching completely to XeLaTeX though. My .sty file is a bit extensive, and I am worried that my headings, margin-sizes, and pagestyles will be altered somehow. Is there any cause for concern?
    – Delta t
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 11:04
  • 1
    @Deltat - Since I don't know what is in your code, I can't give an all-clear signal, right? Fortunately, XeLaTeX and especially LuaLaTeX have made huge strides forward in recent years, and by now they are nearly as stable as pdfLaTeX is. If you have lots of advanced math, though, you may need to check things out carefully. I'd say, give XeLaTeX and/or LuaLaTeX a try and check their output for any meaningful differences to what pdfLaTeX produces.
    – Mico
    Commented Oct 18, 2014 at 11:14
  • It's year 2022 now and I find that the above source file results in error (basically the font Gill Sans MT not found) on both lualatex and xelatex. I'm using texlive 2022 on macOS 12.6. Does anybody know what has happened since 2014 in this area?
    – Ryo
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Ryo - Not sure about the details of your computing setup, but on my laptop (MacOS12.6, MacTeX2022), I have the following four files in the folder /Library/Fonts/Microsoft/: Gill Sans MT, Gill Sans MT Italic, Gill Sans MT Bold, and Gill Sans MT Bold Italic.ttf. The little example file shown above still works for me. I don't remember off-hand why my system has the folder /Library/Fonts/Microsoft/ to begin with. Maybe it's because I bought a verson of MS Office at some point?
    – Mico
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 14:36
  • 1
    @Mico Thanks for your comment! I don't have /Library/Fonts/Microsft/ . Your comment has made me realize that macOS (at least the current version of it) natively includes "Gill Sans", not "Gill Sans MT"! Your example works if you replace the font name with "Gill Sans". (I used the Font Book application to see what fonts the system has.) [By the way, I have done absolutely no customizations about fonts or texlive environment.]
    – Ryo
    Commented Sep 25, 2022 at 16:03

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