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I am using \amsbook with package \mathptmx. The fontsize of all Greek letters in math mode is about 12% larger than for non-Greek. What is it that controls the default size of each font, please?

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  • Do \usepackage{newtxtext,newtxmath} instead of \usepackage{mathptmx} (the latter package is essentially a kludge for getting Times also in math with the limited resources available 20 years ago).
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 12:03

1 Answer 1

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You can't, I'm afraid. Not without substantial work, at least.

The package mathptmx does

\DeclareSymbolFont{letters}{OML}{ztmcm}{m}{it}

and if we look at omlztmcm.fd we find

\DeclareFontShape{OML}{ztmcm}{m}{it}{<-> zptmcm7m}{}

Now we can look at the output of vftovp zptmcm7m, we see

(VTITLE )
(FAMILY UNSPECIFIED)
(FACE F MRR)
(CODINGSCHEME TEX MATH ITALIC)
(DESIGNSIZE R 10.0)
(COMMENT DESIGNSIZE IS IN POINTS)
(COMMENT OTHER SIZES ARE MULTIPLES OF DESIGNSIZE)
(CHECKSUM O 21074766077)
(SEVENBITSAFEFLAG TRUE)
(FONTDIMEN
   (SLANT R 0.277)
   (SPACE R 0.0)
   (STRETCH R 0.0)
   (SHRINK R 0.0)
   (XHEIGHT R 0.440991)
   (QUAD R 1.0)
   (EXTRASPACE R 0.0)
   )
(MAPFONT D 0
   (FONTNAME psyro)
   (FONTCHECKSUM O 37333711466)
   (FONTAT R 1.0)
   (FONTDSIZE R 10.0)
   )
(MAPFONT D 1
   (FONTNAME cmmi10)
   (FONTCHECKSUM O 1350061076)
   (FONTAT R 1.0)
   (FONTDSIZE R 10.0)
   )
(MAPFONT D 2
   (FONTNAME ptmri8r)
   (FONTCHECKSUM O 32105367571)
   (FONTAT R 1.0)
   (FONTDSIZE R 10.0)
   )

at the start and later

(CHARACTER O 13
   (CHARWD R 0.630994)
   (CHARHT R 0.4935)
   (CHARDP R 0.016992)
   (CHARIC R 0.082996)
   (MAP
      (SETCHAR C a)
      )
   )

which means that \alpha points to the a glyph in psyro (an oblique version of the standard PostScript font Symbol).

You have to rebuild the virtual font files for zptmcm7m by doing something like

(MAPFONT D 0
   (FONTNAME psyro)
   (FONTCHECKSUM O 37333711466)
   (FONTAT R 0.89)
   (FONTDSIZE R 10.0)
   )

but also all metrics should be changed accordingly by hand, so the code for \alpha should become

(CHARACTER O 13
   (CHARWD R 0.56158)
   (CHARHT R 0.439215)
   (CHARDP R 0.015123)
   (CHARIC R 0.073867)
   (MAP
      (SETCHAR C a)
      )
   )

and so on for all other Greek letters.

The mathptmx package, with the accompanying fonts is essentially a kludge for being able to emulate Times fonts with the limited resources available twenty years ago. Nowadays you can get better results with

\usepackage{newtxtext}
\usepackage{newtxmath}
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  • egreg Are we saying that Worldwide, and for years, people are putting-up with miss-matching Greek fonts throughout their mathematics? I've been using, e.g. \newcommand{\lambdasmall}{\scalebox{0.93}[0.93]{$\lambda$}} % and I thought I was plain daft.
    – keith77777
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 15:45
  • 1
    @keith77777 Unfortunately, some document classes (IEEE, for instance) continue to suggest mathptmx; some still do \RequirePackage{times}, go figure! :-(
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 15:48
  • egreg Your solution does appear to work except that it gives an error: package clash with package \textcomp (not even present).
    – keith77777
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 20:13
  • @keith77777 It must be some other package you load
    – egreg
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 21:48
  • egreg It appears to be that newtxtext needs to be loaded before libertine. Anyway, that has fixed the error in my case. Many thanks for your help.
    – keith77777
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 13:57

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