I'm wondering what the default font in the tufte-handout class is, and how I could use this font in a different document class (specifically amsart.)

  • Welcome! Looking at the code: it depends on the class options, if any, the engine used and, obviously, on any additional packages or custom configuration done in the preamble or document. In particular, there is no one default: it is engine-dependent and further depends on the existence or otherwise of certain files.
    – cfr
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 3:04
  • 2
    If you have a PDF of the document you mean, just inspect the font list in your PDF viewer or using pdffonts.
    – cfr
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 3:06
  • 1
    Iirc, Tufte (the person) likes Bembo.....
    – JPi
    Commented Aug 14, 2016 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


If you compile a tufte-handout document with pdfLaTeX and the default settings, then it uses Palatino and Helvetica for the fonts. You can load these in another document class by adding the following to your preamble:

% Palatino for main text and math

% Helvetica for sans serif
% (scaled to match size of Palatino)

% Bera Mono for monospaced
% (scaled to match size of Palatino)

If you're using LuaLaTeX, it substitutes similar fonts:

\setmainfont[Renderer=Basic, Numbers=OldStyle, Scale = 1.0]{TeX Gyre Pagella}
\setsansfont[Renderer=Basic, Scale=0.90]{TeX Gyre Heros}
\setmonofont[Renderer=Basic]{TeX Gyre Cursor}

If you're using XeLaTeX or the nofonts \documentclass option, then it doesn't load any fonts and will use the defaults for that engine. See the answers to this question for suggestions.

Note that these fonts aren't actually those used in Tufte's books. For more information on that, take a look at page 19 of the documentation.

Also worth noting is that ET Bembo (now called ET Book to avoid potential trademark issues) is now freely available.


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