I installed MacTex, Tex Live utility and I edite in TexMaker.

The thing is that I installed many packages through Tex Live (almost all of them), and when I use some of them such as:

\usepackage{helvetic} in the preambule,

Latex comes out saying:

"File helvetic.sty Not found". The same applies to some other packages.

Why does it say that if I have them installed through Tex Live?

Thanks a lot!

  • Welcome to TeX-sx! I've never heard of helvetic as a LaTeX package: do you have a reference for it? It's not on CTAN so is not in TeX Live. – Joseph Wright Jan 5 '15 at 21:58
  • 2
    Do you want t use helvet.sty? – knut Jan 5 '15 at 22:01
  • Can you compile a basic document without any packages? – Alan Munn Jan 5 '15 at 22:05
  • Thanks for welcoming :) In Tex live I have the list of all packages and Helvetic is one of them. It says "Installed" in the Tex Live program. However, it does not seem to work. I am not entirely sure of what I did, but after I pressed "Update all" in Tex Live, I have used around 10 gb of space in my hard drive between MacTex, Tex Live and all the packages... but after all it looks like I can't use some of them :S. PS: helmet.sty does work, but it does not appear in Tex Live list. – Pablo Jan 5 '15 at 23:09
  • @JosephWright Different senses of 'package': helvetic is a TeX Live package but there is no LaTeX package by this name... The pieces of it are on CTAN... – cfr Jan 5 '15 at 23:51

There are 2 notions of packages here and they are not the same.

First, there is the TeX Live idea of a package, such as helvetic. Here is what the TeX Live Manager has to say about it:

$ tlmgr info helvetic
package:     helvetic
category:    Package
shortdesc:   URW "Base 35" font pack for LaTeX.
longdesc:    A set of fonts for use as "drop-in" replacements for Adobe's basic set, comprising: - Century Schoolbook (substituting for Adobe's New Century Schoolbook); - Dingbats (substituting for Adobe's Zapf Dingbats); - Nimbus Mono L (substituting for Abobe's Courier); - Nimbus Roman No9 L (substituting for Adobe's Times); - Nimbus Sans L (substituting for Adobe's Helvetica); - Standard Symbols L (substituting for Adobe's Symbol); - URW Bookman; - URW Chancery L Medium Italic (substituting for Adobe's Zapf Chancery); - URW Gothic L Book (substituting for Adobe's Avant Garde); and - URW Palladio L (substituting for Adobe's Palatino).
installed:   Yes
revision:    31835
sizes:       run: 2377k
relocatable: Yes
cat-date:    2012-06-06 22:57:48 +0200
cat-license: gpl
collection:  collection-fontsrecommended

Second, there is the LaTeX sense of a 'package' which you can load to use in your document using


In some cases, there may be a package in both senses. But, in others, there will not be. helvetic provides the fonts but there is no LaTeX package by that name, as you have discovered. That is, helvetic is not identical with the LaTeX package which you need to use those fonts in your document. helvet is the LaTeX package which you need for that.

helvet is provided by the TeX Live package psnfss:

$ tlmgr info psnfss
package:     psnfss
category:    Package
shortdesc:   Font support for common PostScript fonts.
longdesc:    Font definition files, macros and font metrics for freely- available Adobe Type 1 fonts. The font set consists of the 'LaserWriter 35' set (originally 'freely available' because embedded in PostScript printers), and a variety of other free fonts, together with some additions. Note that while many of the fonts are available in PostScript (and other) printers, most publishers require fonts embedded in documents, which requires that you have the fonts in your TeX system. Fortunately, there are free versions of the fonts from URW (available in the URW base5 bundle). The base set of text fonts covered by PSNFSS are: AvantGarde, Bookman, Courier, Helvetica, New Century Schoolbook, Palatino, Symbol, Times Roman and Zapf Dingbats. In addition, the fonts Bitstream Charter and Adobe Utopia are covered (those fonts were contributed to the Public Domain by their commercial foundries). Separate packages are provided to load each font for use as main text font. The packages helvet (which allows Helvetica to be loaded with its size scaled to something more nearly appropriate for its use as a Sans-Serif font to match Times) and pifont (which provides the means to select single glyphs from symbol fonts) are tailored to special requirements of their fonts. Mathematics are covered by the mathptmx package, which constructs passable mathematics from a combination of Times Roman, Symbol and some glyphs from Computer Modern, and by Pazo Math (optionally extended with the fpl small-caps and old-style figures fonts) which uses Palatino as base font, with the mathpazo fonts. The bundle as a whole is part of the LaTeX 'required' set of packages.
installed:   Yes
revision:    33946
sizes:       src: 73k, doc: 521k, run: 441k
relocatable: Yes
cat-version: 9.2a
cat-date:    2012-07-23 15:04:13 +0200
cat-license: lppl
collection:  collection-latex
  • Thanks a lot. That was very useful. It was driving me crazy! So now I just realized I installed a lot of crap from Tex Live I will probably never use. Is there a list or something of the most common packages I should install? (Besides of those installed by default in MacTex) – Pablo Jan 5 '15 at 23:59
  • @Pablo Unless you are really short of disk space, it is recommended to install the lot. Life tends to be frustratingly complex otherwise. (Although I can't imagine why it would need 10G. That seems a very great deal.) – cfr Jan 6 '15 at 0:04
  • @Pablo For comparison: I have a 20G partition which I use for TeX Live and some additional things. I have 4 different editions of TeX Live installed there, additional TeX stuff installed locally, two or three versions of Firefox and assorted bits and bobs. – cfr Jan 6 '15 at 0:07
  • So are you saying that by default I should just click "Update all" from the Tex Live and leave it install everything? – Pablo Jan 6 '15 at 0:34
  • @cfr But your 4 editions must take up almost all of that, since my 2 yrs worth is 8.8 Gb. But if you combine the installed 2014 distribution (4.3 Gb) plus the installer package (2.5 Gb) you're up to almost 7. Of course once you've installed you can delete the installer package, but perhaps Pablo hasn't done that yet. – Alan Munn Jan 6 '15 at 1:17

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