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Does LaTeX allow me to typeset Chinese calligraphy - styled characters such as the following? If so, how? Is there a font similar to the one used by this example?

enter image description here

  • 1
    If you have a font containing those characters, maybe XeTeX or LuaTeX could do it. Certainly you can typeset Chinese - I don't know if characters from calligraphy are different or not. For English, say, you'd just use a particular font - it would still be A, B, C etc. So there's no real difference between that and non-calligraphy A, B, C etc. Is there a more fundamental difference in the case of Chinese? – cfr Jul 5 '15 at 3:15
  • @cfr Yes there are. As far as I know Chinese typography is ill-developed and usually a font contains just one shape. So it is meaningless to write something like \textit or \textcal since there is nothing to be called. And, you guessed it, there is no calligraphic character set. Yet there is a problem about Traditional and Simplified Chinese. It is indeed tough but not relative to this question. – Symbol 1 Jul 5 '15 at 16:02
  • @Symbol1 I'm not really sure what you mean. It doesn't matter if, say, italic characters are in a different font from upright ones. I know opentype fonts sometimes include the kitchen sink and offer to make the tea, but older fonts certainly did not. Indeed, postscript families often split characters of the same shape between different fonts. But it is absolutely relevant whether there are fonts with the calligraphic characters. If not, short of drawing them yourself using metafont or something, I don't see how they could be produced by LaTeX. – cfr Jul 5 '15 at 16:24
  • @cfr The question is misleading and makes people think that calligraphy is rare. But it is not. Calligraphy(書法) is basically the Chinese itself. For instance, this is a calligraphic font, the recommended font of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China (Taiwan). – Symbol 1 Jul 5 '15 at 16:54
  • @Symbol1 Oh, I see what you mean. I was assuming that 'calligraphy' in this context just referred to, say, characters which looked more obviously painted, say, with the kind of irregularities which are associated with handwriting. I kind of assumed it could not mean a distinct character shape of the kind you get between, say, italic and upright in a Latin script. But then it is, indeed, just a question of whether a font with the required 'look' exists and can be used by Xe/LuaTeX...? – cfr Jul 5 '15 at 17:57
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The 4 basic typefaces for typography are 宋 (or 明), 黑, 楷, 仿宋, where 楷 is the calligraphic one.

A set of free OpenType fonts for Simplified Chinese, Fandol fonts, are available in CTAN (TeX Live, MiKTeX).

% !TeX encoding = UTF-8
% !TeX program = xelatex
\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xeCJK}
\newCJKfontfamily\kaishu{FandolKai-Regular.otf}
\newCJKfontfamily\bkai{BKAI00MP.TTF}
\begin{document}
\kaishu 楷书 (FandolKai-Regular)

\bkai 楷書 (AR PL KaitiM Big5)
\end{document}

enter image description here

For Traditional Chinese, 文鼎 (Arphic) published a free 中楷 font (AR PL KaitiM Big5), which is available in most Linux distributions.

enter image description here

There are also a lot of commercial Chinese calligraphic typefaces, but you need to buy the fonts. For example, there is a collection of fonts distributed with Chinese version of Microsoft Office.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{xeCJK}
\begin{document}
\CJKfontspec{STXingkai} 华文行楷 (STXingkai)

\CJKfontspec{FZShuTi} 方正舒体 (FZShuTi)
\end{document}

enter image description here

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You should find a font which contains these glyphs and have your desired style. This is just an example from a font called Ming Imperial which is in TrueType format, and is usable by XeTeX:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{fontspec}
\newfontfamily{\imp}{Ming Imperial}

\begin{document}

\imp\noindent\Huge{a\\b\\c\\d\\e\\f\\g\\h}

\end{document}

And this is part of the result:

Chinese Calligraphy with XeTeX

If you have time and courage, you can design your own fonts with FontForge.

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