Can someone tell me, where exactly the Computer Modern font family, that is the standard LaTeX font is defined?

I need something to cite this, but all I could found was a reference to an old book, volume E, by D. Knuth - and I can't imagine that the current Computer Modern font family still adheres to that old definition, so I'd like to know if there are any newer citeable source?

  • Why would you expect the font to change? Mar 9, 2017 at 6:17

2 Answers 2


The most recent book about Computer Modern by Knuth is Computers & Typesetting, Volume E: Computer Modern Typefaces, released in 1993. The most recent update to Computer Modern was in 1992 which Knuth talks about here. ConTeXt uses Latin Modern, which is a modernized version of Computer Modern, maintained by Bogusław Jackowski and Janusz M. Nowacki.

  • 1
    More on Latin Modern here: gust.org.pl/projects/e-foundry/latin-modern
    – Thruston
    Mar 5, 2017 at 18:58
  • wow, so indeed the 1993 book, which I mentioned, in the most up-to date reference. I wouldn't have believed that computer modern hasn't received any updates since then.
    – l7ll7
    Mar 5, 2017 at 18:59
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    Full reference: Volume E, Computer Modern Typefaces (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1986), xvi+588pp. ISBN 0-201-13446-2
    – Thruston
    Mar 5, 2017 at 18:59
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    @user10324 it surprised me as well, I guess it hasn't needed any changes because the English alphabet hasn't changed and typesetting needs haven't changed much since then as well. If my answer helped, could you please mark it as such?
    – Artillect
    Mar 5, 2017 at 19:02
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    the computer modern fonts were tuned up again later, as part of a cleanup of the type 1 versions, with assistance from hermann zapf. this was announced in tugboat, but i'm having trouble finding the reference. i'll try again tomorrow, when i have access to the shelf of actual issues. (some things are just easier to find on paper.) Mar 6, 2017 at 0:18

a brief announcement of updates to computer modern appeared in the tugboat article "TeX Live 2009 news".

an earlier article, "Reshaping Euler: A collaboration with Hermann Zapf" describes the work done on the euler fonts, a project intended as a 70th birthday present for don knuth; it was during that work that computer modern was also tuned up, although that isn't mentioned there.

don made some comments regarding specific changes to computer modern at the 1995 tug meeting in st. petersburg, florida. these are part of the q&a session, transcribed and published in tugboat 17:1, pp.7-22 (the relevant comments are on pp.17-18), and republished in digital typography, pp.573-600, with the relevant text on p.592. some "older" tex users may remember the brouhaha about the shape of \delta.

there may be something more extensive; if so, i will add the information here.

  • Wrt the tex live 2009 news article, do I understand it correctly that you'd have to load the amsfonts package in order to get the updated CM fonts?
    – Sverre
    Mar 7, 2017 at 17:22
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    @Sverre -- the updated cm fonts are the default now; i believe the old ones have been removed from tex live. the connection with ams is merely in the release and packaging. ams is listed as the copyright holder of the type 1 fonts, and they are released under the sil font license. Mar 7, 2017 at 17:29

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