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Which options do I have to modify the font that PDFLaTeX used to typeset Greek letters in mathematical formulas?

For example:

\textgreek{mvopr} is `textgreek' and $\mu\nu\omicron\pi\rho$ is a formula

gives

enter image description here

I do not like the standard rendering of Greek symbols too much. Please note I am not interested in

Happy to be corrected and provide additional info.

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You can use any math font package and its options (such as slantedgreek). The isomath package allows you to select any OML-encoded math font as one of your math alphabets, or you can use the LaTeX kernel’s \DeclareMathAlphabet for this. The isomath manual has a reasonably-comprehensive list of available fonts that support OML.

Additionally, mathastext allows you to select any LGR-encoded 8-bit font as your Greek math alphabet, with any math version. Check out the LaTeX Font Catalogue.

It’s more work, but there are tools to re-encode any TrueType or OpenType font into legacy 8-bit TeX encodings usable with PDFTeX.

Examples

This MWE uses GFS Porson as the Greek math font. From roughly the 1920s to the 1960s, Porson was a common Greek companion font to Monotype Modern, on which DEK based Computer Modern. You’ll notice how similar the shapes are to the default TeX Greek symbols.

\documentclass{article}
\tracinglostchars=2
\usepackage[LGR,T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage[LGRgreek, italic]{mathastext}

\MTgreekfont{porson}
\Mathastext
% Can also declare \MTgreekfont for each \MTDeclareVersion

\pagestyle{empty}

\begin{document}
\[ (x, y, z) \to ( \rho, \phi, \theta ) \]
\end{document}

GFS Porson + Latin Modern sample

The following is an extremely-contrived example of defining an upright bold-sans-serif math version, to match the formatting of a section header, using GFS Complutum as the matching math font. (If you are ever stuck trying to do this in PDFTeX, you might try Arev, a heavy sans-serif font that comes in OML.)

\documentclass{article}
\tracinglostchars=2
\usepackage[LGR,T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage[LGRgreek,subdued]{mathastext}

\MTgreekfont{complutum}
\MTDeclareVersion[n]{sansbold}{T1}{cmbr}{bx}{n}

\pagestyle{empty}

\begin{document}
\Mathastextversion{sansbold}
\section{\normalfont\fontfamily{cmbr}\bfseries\selectfont%
  From \(x\) and \(y\) to \(\theta\) and \(\phi\)%
}
\Mathastextversion{normal}

We can map \( (x,y,z) \to (\rho,\theta,\phi) \).
\end{document}

CM Bright + GFS Complutum sample

  • Thanks, intriguing. A follow-up question is: where did you pick up the porson font family for example? If I look for it in the LaTeX font catalogue (type porson site:https://www.tug.org/FontCatalogue/ in your browser search box) I cannot find anything. In other words, at this point I would like to choose my favourite Greek font. Where can I get to know their names and preview them? – XavierStuvw Jul 1 '20 at 13:42
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    @XavierStuvw You can check out the font-greek category on CTAN. You can also search your TeX installation for files that match the pattern lgr*.fd and oml*.fd. – Davislor Jul 2 '20 at 4:44

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