I'm using the AMSMATH package but I'm getting the wrong representations for the (standard) epsilon and the varrho symbols. I'm not doing anything special.

    \documentclass[letterpaper, 11pt, twoside]{book}

    \usepackage{fancyhdr}   % Fancy Header

% ********************** OPTIONAL PACKAGES **********************
% --------------------------------- MATH PACKAGES ---------------------------------
    \usepackage{amsmath}    % Math package, for equations, etc.
    \usepackage{amsfonts}   % Math fonts add-in
    \usepackage{amssymb}    % Math symbols add-in
    \usepackage{amsbsy} % Math bold symbols
    \usepackage{amsthm} % Math theorems package
    \usepackage{mathptmx}   % Adobe fonts

%*  The Document.

    $\epsilon$ - epsilon [ Wrong Symbol]

    $\varepsilon$ - varepsilon

    $\rho$ - rho

    $\varrho$ - varrho [Wrong Symbol]


Resulting in:

enter image description here

I'm using TexWorks with MikTex 2.9 and I've confirmed all is up-to-date. Thoughts?

  • 4
    Please show us this "nothing special" that your doing. Create a minimal working example (MWE) that replicates your problem so we can copy-and-paste-and-compile the input and see exactly what you're seeing. For one, you seem to be using a different font, which may be the cause of this. – Werner Jan 20 '15 at 1:33
  • 2
    Sorry. Reminder to everyone...make a MWE. You may find your problem, like I did. I have a mathptmx package that's conflicting. Got rid of it...problem solved. – Dave Jan 20 '15 at 2:47
  • Use newtxtext/newtxmath instead of mathptmx – karlkoeller Jan 20 '15 at 6:18
  • 4
    I think this may be off-topic because it is about some issue which has not been visible in an MWE but was found by the OP already. – LaRiFaRi Jan 20 '15 at 7:59
  • Hmm. Unclear, perhaps. As answered (and better documented then mine) by @Werner below, it's is on-topic and directed at "Related software and tools"...packages that, in this case conflict. In was unclear because I neglected to put in a MWE. Anyway, will do better next time. – Dave Jan 21 '15 at 3:28

Some fonts change not only the text font, but also the math font. This is the case with mathptmx. It is possible to grab a single symbol from another font though:

enter image description here



\DeclareSymbolFont{newfont}{OML}{cmm}{m}{it}% Computer Modern math font
\DeclareMathSymbol{\Epsilon}{3}{newfont}{15}% Symbol 15
\DeclareMathSymbol{\Varrho}{3}{newfont}{37}% Symbol 37


  $\Epsilon$ & epsilon \\
  $\varepsilon$ & varepsilon \\
  $\rho$ & rho \\
  $\Varrho$ & varrho


If you want to find out where symbols reside within the font, see How do I know what symbols/characters are available in a font package?.


(This answer addresses the query as seen after a major expansion/augmentation took place.)

The first five \usepackage statements in the preamble load AMS packages. Then there's the line

\usepackage{mathptmx}   % Adobe fonts

The mathptmx package loads (a clone of) the Times Roman font, with glyphs suitable for both text and math mode. I can't tell if it's a glitch or a feature, but the mathptmx package clearly uses the same symbols for \rho and \varrho as well as for \epsilon and \varepsilon, respectively.

Which font family do you want to use? If it's Computer Modern, simply don't load the mathptmx package. If it's Times Roman, I suggest you load the newtxtext and newtxmath packages instead of mathptmx. That way, you'll get the \epsilon and \varrho symbols back.

  • Palatino? I was quite certain it is Times. ;-) The Greek letters are taken from Adobe Symbol. – egreg Jan 21 '15 at 8:15
  • @egreg - You're absolutely right. Teaches me (yet again) not to write things before having a second cup of coffee in the morning... – Mico Jan 21 '15 at 8:21
  • @Mico Well, the image he uploaded uses Palatino. So I think it's a more than acceptable mistake. – Manuel Jan 21 '15 at 10:21

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