I'd like to use the gentium font in a LaTeX document, and the instructions I found at this site make it look rather difficult.

Is there a simple package that is now available that would allow me to use the gentium font more easily?

  • 2
    One simple solution is to use XeLaTeX, which can use any system fonts. :-) See this question. – ShreevatsaR Jul 29 '10 at 2:02
  • This question should imho be tagged with specific engines if there is an answer for them. – Dima Jul 29 '10 at 9:19
  • @ShreevatsaR, I did manage to get it to work with XeLaTeX in the end. Could you post that as an answer (with a simple working example) so I can accept it? – bryn Aug 4 '10 at 10:39

Posting the XeLaTeX comment as an answer, per suggestion. You just \setromanfont{Gentium}.

Note that the font Gentium doesn't yet have a bold variant, so if you need to use bold frequently, it's recommended that you use a different font. (If your interest in Gentium is because of its wide character repertoire, you may want to use a font like Charis SIL. If your interest was in the appearance, then there's a "Gentium Basic" that doesn't include Greek or Cyrillic characters, but has bold variants.) But in practice I found I could use Gentium with Gentium Basic Bold as the bold font, and it looks natural to my eyes (you still won't have bold Greek, of course):

\setromanfont[BoldFont={Gentium Basic Bold},ItalicFont={Gentium Italic}]{Gentium}

Hèllö wőrld: γεντιυμ \textit{Italic} \textbf{Bold}\\
\textbf{Hèllö wőrld}: γεντιυμ \textit{Italic} Bold
  • Should this now be \setmainfont? – cfr Jun 7 '15 at 20:42
  • 1
    @cfr It's been a while since I used it, but the fontspec doc (fontspec.pdf) says that \setromanfont is "the old name for \setmainfont, retained for backwards compatibility" — so yes \setmainfont is the new name, but \setromanfont is also a (deprecated) synonym and should work I think. – ShreevatsaR Jun 7 '15 at 22:43
  • Thanks. I should have just said 'Is this the same as...?' which was what I was really wondering. – cfr Jun 7 '15 at 22:47
  • For Lualatex, I had to had the arguments Renderer=Basic,Ligatures=TeX. Otherwise ligatures like -- did not work (using Texlive 2015). – bluenote10 Aug 24 '15 at 14:37

If you want to use pdfLaTeX, you can use the autoinst tool.

autoinst ${PATH_TO_GENTIUM}/Gen*.ttf

This will convert the ttf files and create a Gentium.sty file in the current directory. Now you can simply


to switch your LaTeX font to Gentium. Alternatively, try GentiumBasic for bold.


Now there is a gentium-tug package that enables you to


No additional steps required.


The gentium package found on CTAN may help get you started with using Gentium in pdfLaTeX.

  • Sadly this doesn't seem to work for me. After installing it I included \usepackage{gentium} and received "LaTeX Error: File `gentium.sty' not found.". Not sure if this is relevant: "Other encodings, and LaTeX support remain to be added." (from the linked page on CTAN). – bryn Aug 4 '10 at 10:23
  • Working for me. Maybe that @bryn needs to install the package. – Jangid Mar 9 '18 at 8:56

While the XeLaTeX way is probably easier, if you wanted to stick with pdflatex, you could try the fontinst tool for creating the necessary package.

  • 3
    Just tried this using the autoinst script from the fontools package on CTAN and now have Gentium working with pdflatex. – frabjous Aug 5 '10 at 1:39

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