# Load order of babel vs. font packages

This question stems from something I stumbled across in the newtx package documentation:

## 2 Text mode options

If you use the babel package, you should load it before newtxtext—for example:

\usepackage[<babel options>]{babel}
\usepackage[osf]{newtxtext}


More generally, the pattern of the preamble should be:

<encoding options>
[optional] \usepackage{substitutefont} % so you can change babel's fonts
[optional] \usepackage[<babel options>]{babel}
\usepackage[p,osf]{newtxtext}% osf in text, lining figures in math
[optional] redefine the plain theorem style if necessary
\usepackage{newtxmath}
<substitutefont commands>


I don’t understand what this section is trying to get at – what does babel have to do with fonts?

Moreover, I was under the impression that the recommended package order was as follows:

\documentclass{…}

% optional font packages
% \usepackage{<font package>}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

\usepackage{babel}

% further packages

\begin{document}
…


See e. g. the babel documentation, fntguide, or this answer.

• You're probably misled by the mention of \substitutefonts, that's rarely necessary and doesn't directly depend on babel. My preferred loading order is fontenc, babel and fonts. I see no reason to “redefine the plain theorem style” before loading newtxmath. Mar 24 '20 at 22:45
• @egreg Indeed I am, especially the comment % so you can change babel's fonts. As far as I understand, there’s no such thing as “babel’s fonts”. Also, before reading that paragraph, I had never heard of the substitutefont package (and I’m still not sure what its purpose is). Mar 25 '20 at 1:32