I found a kind of inconsistency in the Computer Modern Unicode font family between the italic fonts and all others for the letters "a" and "g". In the roman, sans serif, and typewriter fonts the letters have the left form and in the italic versions the right form.

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While the non-italic fonts provide alternative shapes, available via \char"0251 and \char"0261, to match them with the italic version, it doesn't work the other way around. There are no corresponding glyphs provided.

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I understand that the italic fonts probably were mainly designed to be used in math typesetting and there the available shapes are prefered. But why are there no alternative glyphs to choose? Or are they somewhere available and I just couldn't find them?

Is there a good reason to favor one shape over the other? (Or for mixing the shapes within one font family?) Below is a comparison of the two alternatives for different computer modern fonts.

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  • 2
    CMU is not actually Computer Modern. It's a redesign which is of course strongly inspired by Computer Modern, but the alternatives you are talking about are not part of Knuth's original typeface. I have edited your question to clarify the font names here. Dec 6, 2020 at 21:02
  • 1
    Maybe also consider contacting the designers: canopus.iacp.dvo.ru/~panov/cm-unicode/contact.html They are the only ones who can really answer this question. Dec 6, 2020 at 21:05
  • 1
    This sort of thing has bothered me in other situations. For mathematics, I think the "g" on the right looks better. I finally started using unicode-math and LuaLaTeX to get consistent glyphs. I too wonder why the inconsistencies. Dec 6, 2020 at 21:11
  • @HenriMenke That's a good idea. I will ask the designers. And thanks for the clarification with CMU.
    – Marc Krass
    Dec 6, 2020 at 21:22


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