I know how to use LaTeX (not an expert, but still quite some experience - wrote couple of papers and my thesis, can make TikZ pictures etc.), but I don't have the slightest idea, what XeTeX, LuaTeX, etc. are.

For an invitation card I'd like to design I found this beautiful font named zapfino. But it's for XeTeX or LuaTex. This website has a nice example: http://nitens.org/taraborelli/latex#glyph I downloaded that tex code, but I can't compile the code on my ubuntu machine (with texlive) - neither using LaTeX (no surprise there), nor xetex, nor luatex, nor xelatex. I always have issues. Best works xelatex, it only complains about the font not being found before it exits. I downloaded the font from <removed> and put the .otf file into /usr/local/share/texmf (where the TEXMFLOCAL variable points to), but that does not change anything. What do I do wrong?

Is there a possibility to make zapfino work with latex? and if not, how can I compile that small example on my machine, what do I have to do? Furthermore - is there a way of combining XeTeX (for the font) with LaTeX (for TikZ-tricks)?

  • Put the font where you would put fonts available to your system as a whole (i.e., where you would put them for use with any other application). This is usually /usr/share/fonts on Linux systems. Then XeLaTeX should find them. Also make sure your document is encoded UTF-8 and don't load inputenc or fontenc but use fontspec.
    – Alan Munn
    Jun 3 '16 at 23:20
  • Zapfino is a commercial font; sites that offer it as a free download may be giving you a file that’s problematic in more ways than one.
    – Thérèse
    Jun 3 '16 at 23:35
  • @AlanMunn: I did put the .otf file into /usr/share/fonts, but nothing changed. Do I have to run some update-command?
    – dps_kane
    Jun 4 '16 at 0:05
  • @Thérèse: in a different stackexchange thread some user provided an example document and wrote underneath that he got the font from that website - unfortunately he did not explain how the installation worked. But from that I assume that in some way this font file can be used.
    – dps_kane
    Jun 4 '16 at 0:07
  • Somewhat related: Can one set a specific font variant in xelatex for uppercase letters only? Separately: Which TeX distribution and which operating system do you use?
    – Mico
    Jun 4 '16 at 6:04

The file is quite old, in comparison to the big developments on XeTeX and fontspec that have been made in the last eight years.

Here's a fixed version that works well. Note that I'm on a Mac OS X machine, where Zapfino is provided along with the operating system. However, the font is not free, so you have to buy it in order to be able of exploiting its features.

%!TEX TS-program = xelatex
%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode

% Dario Taraborelli (2008)
% The Beauty of LaTeX
% URL: http://nitens.org/taraborelli/latex
% Some rights reserved: CC-BY-SA
% (modified by egreg for TeX.StackExchange.com)

\usepackage{fontspec, graphicx}
  pdftitle={The Beauty of LaTeX},
  pdfauthor={Taraborelli, Dario}



\setmainfont{Hoefler Text}

  Ligatures={Common, Rare},



{\red d}roo{\lbl g}\hfill{\reda d}roo{\lbla g}

{\redb d}roo{\lblb g}\hfill{\redf d}roo{\lblf g}

{\redc d}roo{\lblc g}\hfill{\redd d}roo{\lbld g}

{\rede d}roo{\lble g}\hfill{\redg d}roo{\lblg g}


D. Taraborelli (2008), 
\href{http://nitens.org/taraborelli/latex}{The Beauty of \LaTeX}\\
\emph{Some rights reserved}. 


enter image description here

  • thanks for doing the work of changing the base file! I tried it on my virtual ubuntu system (onto which I moved the zapfino.ttf file I found on my mac system) using xelatex and it does not work. it first gives a "missing \begin{document}" error (huh???), and after continuation of compilation it still complaints about the missing variants. Might be that Ubuntu can't use the .ttf file right away in its full glory. i will install texshop on my mac system and try it directly here tomorrow, i guess.
    – dps_kane
    Jun 5 '16 at 5:27
  • @dps_kane Quite likely your system has an old TeX distribution. Try moving {Zapfino} after ]
    – egreg
    Jun 5 '16 at 8:17
  • I tried. It helped me to compile under ubuntu. But it has many warnings/errors and the output creates droog 8 times in the same style. I also tried under mac with texshop, but there it gives me an option clash for package color.... :/ (i have never really used tex here on the machine, I should see whether I can work it; but I might be busy the upcoming time....)
    – dps_kane
    Jun 6 '16 at 20:54
  • @egreg great example! But how can I get the e.g. \addfontfeatures{Variant=2} working with LuaLaTeX?
    – LukasCB
    Dec 10 '16 at 20:42
  • 1
    @LukasCB According to the fontspec manual, Variant is only for Mac OS X AAT fonts; this technology is not supported by luaotfload.
    – egreg
    Dec 10 '16 at 20:52

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