Using XeLaTeX and the fontspec package, I am experiencing problems using fonts whose name includes the space character. Here is a simple example:

\setmainfont{Times New Roman}

gives, upon xelatex the error:

kpathsea: Invalid fontname `Times New Roman', contains ' '

I have used this font before and previously working examples ceased to work when I re-installed my operating system (Ubuntu 11.04) and TeXlive2011.

  • 1
    This error usually arises when fontspec fails to find the font at all. Are you sure that the font is available still on your system? (Can you use it a regular application like Open Office?)
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 1, 2012 at 4:11
  • 1
    The font is indeed missing on OpenOffice. The error message is quite misleading.
    – Yossi Gil
    Feb 1, 2012 at 5:40
  • On my system, fontspec gives a very helpful error right after the error you mention. Maybe you're not seeing the whole thing. It clearly says fontspec error: "font-not-found" (etc.)
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 1, 2012 at 5:43
  • I've turned my comments into an answer.
    – Alan Munn
    Feb 1, 2012 at 5:49
  • 1
    @alfC Sometimes fonts in linux don't get registered and you need to load them using the filename. See Figuring out Xetex fonts under Debian perhaps?
    – Alan Munn
    Sep 10, 2015 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


The error you are seeing usually arises when fontspec can't find the font at all. It is usually accompanied by the following more helpful error generated by fontspec itself:

kpathsea: Invalid fontname `A Funny Font', contains ' '

./kpathsea-test.tex:4: fontspec error: "font-not-found"
! The font "A Funny Font" cannot be found.
! See the fontspec documentation for further information.
! For immediate help type H <return>.

l.4 \setmainfont{A Funny Font}

Maybe your editing environment is hiding some of the console output from you.

Any font that is usable on your system in a regular application (e.g. Open Office) should be found by fontspec. So you should check to see if "Times New Roman" is actually available on your system after your OS update.

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