Similar questions have been asked but with no conclusive answers. How do I set my body font size to be equivalent to MS Word 12, which is required by my college. 12 pt in LaTeX is equal to size 10 in Word. The font type is Times New Roman.

  • 4
    Assuming Word uses “big points”, size 12 would be 12.045pt. I don't think the difference can be appreciated with a ruler. The difference is 0.016mm and 2/100 of a millimeter is quite tiny, isn't it?
    – egreg
    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:42
  • 2
    KOMA-Script classes provide fontsize=12bp. Apr 5, 2017 at 10:00
  • 4
    You also have to consider that different fonts look (and even are) differently sized for the same number. Thus a comparison is only valid if you state which font you're using (and use the same in both)
    – Chris H
    Apr 5, 2017 at 10:30
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    @DavidRicherby Actually, the size in LaTeX is the size in Word (taking into account the slight difference between pt and bp). However, some of the widely-used LaTeX fonts have large glyph sizes. For example, Heuristica has x-height 490, but Adobe UtopiaStd (not TeX Utopia) has x-height 460. Use Heuristica in place of UptopiaStd, and it will look bigger at the same point size.
    – user103221
    Apr 5, 2017 at 14:36
  • 3
    @DavidRicherby I understand that. But the OP wrote that 12 points in LaTeX is equal to size 10 in Word. Is that a factual observation, or is he repeating a rumor? Is it really the identical font, in both cases? Perhaps the PDF viewer is presenting a smaller-scaled image than Word presents? I have never seen 12=10, and I gather than other responders have not seen it either. Note that there is no MWE whereby we could try to reproduce the problem (many of us have Word, too).
    – user103221
    Apr 5, 2017 at 16:52

2 Answers 2


The difference is negligible.

1 bp = 1.00374 pt (from a conversion table) so 12 pt would convert to 11.9553 bp, not 10 bp.

\fontsize{12bp}{18bp}\selectfont H\fontsize{12pt}{18pt}\selectfont H

enter image description here

\RequirePackage{fix-cm} is needed per egreg’s comment, to prevent TeX from choosing the nearest standard size font file (12 pt in this case).

  • 6
    You'd see a difference if you put \RequirePackage{fix-cm} before \documentclass. Anyway, the conversion is the other way around: 1bp is larger than 1pt: 1bp=1.00374pt.
    – egreg
    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:36
  • @egreg: Thanks, corrected. I tested it as you said and there is the tiniest difference, only visible with help lines.
    – lblb
    Apr 5, 2017 at 9:46
  • 1
    In this case the difference appears to be bigger because of snapping to the raster.
    – egreg
    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:52

I did an experiment.

First I created a document with LibreOffice (sorry no Word on my machines)

enter image description here

As you see, the font is Times New Roman at size 12.

Next I printed on a PDF and cropped it. Finally, I wrote this LaTeX file





and the result is

enter image description here

Apart from the different leading, the result seems comparable.

After all, if we measure 12bp (where 72bp = 1in), we get 12.045pt and this corresponds to a difference of 0.02mm if 12pt is used.

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