I've always been bothered by the look of the standard \mathcal 'E': enter image description here and think it would be nice to have a calligraphic E that looks more like the \mathcal 'F': enter image description here.

Recently, I stumbled across an old LaTeX manual from 1999 (A Guide to LaTeX, 3rd Edition, by H. Kopka P. Daly). In the section for calligraphic letters, I was surprised to find this!

Page 123 of "A Guide to LaTeX", 3rd Edition, H. Kopka  P. Daly. 1999.

The calligraphic letters there are similar to, but not quite the same as, the current mathcal font. This old book has exactly the "E" that I have always been looking for! How can I get those characters?

  • 5
    Is that Lucida calligraphic? If you have it, you could go \usepackage[cal=lucida]{mathalfa}. Haven't tried that. – LaRiFaRi Dec 4 '14 at 16:14
  • @LaRiFaRi I believe you're right. – egreg Dec 4 '14 at 16:21
  • Thanks @LaRiFaRi! That's definitely the solution I was looking for. I'm just not sure it's worth the high cost to buy the font directly from TUG, which is all I could find. – Mark Girard Dec 4 '14 at 17:41

I have that book in .pdf version and the font is Lucida New Math (Symbols).

If you have the Lucida New Math font installed as type 1, you can go as LaRiFaRi says in the above comment.

Otherwise, you have probably Lucida Calligraphy installed as .ttf as I have.

In this case, you can use xelatex or luatex for compiling.

This is an example using that font:

\setmathfont[range={\mathcal}]{Lucida Calligraphy}



enter image description here

  • 4
    Hmm, your Z doesn't have a stroke through it??? – 1010011010 Dec 4 '14 at 16:53
  • Thats similar, but not the same. The lucida from mathalfa has the correct I, J, and Z and a nicer Q. See the link from Werner above. But, @karlkoeller, this is close enough, I guess. – LaRiFaRi Dec 4 '14 at 17:20
  • This is a close enough solution, considering that the Lucida New Math font is not free. But: Is there a way to use the Lucida Calligraphy font (or similar) without compiling with xelatex? – Mark Girard Dec 4 '14 at 17:45
  • 2
    @1010011010 In fact the original font is Lucida New Math and this one is Lucida Calligraphy – karlkoeller Dec 4 '14 at 17:51
  • 2
    @luftbahnfahrer Unfortunately .ttf fonts cannot be used with pdflatex. Any particular reason for not using xelatex? – karlkoeller Dec 4 '14 at 17:53

According to the Comprehensive LaTeX symbol list, you can get similar characters with Zapf Chancery. Simply add to your preamble :


And use it in math mode with


which will yield

Complete roman alphabet typeset with Zapf Chancery

It is not exactly the font you are asking, but the shape of the E letter is similar.

  • 1
    The size of the letters seems a bit off compared to the default mathcal symbols. – Joost Dec 14 '16 at 10:37

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