I read up a bit on fonts:


According to https://wiki.contextgarden.net/Latin_Modern I was able to use \definedfont[ec-lmtlc10] to switch to Latin Modern Light Condensed, but I was unable to get Helvetica Narrow to work even though it is clearly installed on my system:

❯ mtxrun --script fonts --list --all --pattern='*helvetica*'
fonts           | names | accessing the data table failed
identifier                   familyname   fontname                     filename       subfont   instances

helvetica                    helvetica    helvetica                    phvr8a.afm
helveticabold                helvetica    helveticabold                phvb8a.afm
helveticaboldoblique         helvetica    helveticaboldoblique         phvbo8a.afm
helveticamedium              helvetica    helvetica                    phvr8a.afm
helveticanarrow              helvetica    helveticanarrow              phvr8an.afm
helveticanarrowbold          helvetica    helveticanarrowbold          phvb8an.afm
helveticanarrowboldoblique   helvetica    helveticanarrowboldoblique   phvbo8an.afm
helveticanarrowoblique       helvetica    helveticanarrowoblique       phvro8an.afm
helveticaoblique             helvetica    helveticaoblique             phvro8a.afm

But when I try to load it via \definedfont[name:helveticanarrow*default at 12 pt] I get the folloting error:

fonts           > afm loading > reading '/usr/share/texmf-dist/fonts/afm/adobe/helvetic/phvr8an.afm'
fonts           > afm loading > no pfb file for '/usr/share/texmf-dist/fonts/afm/adobe/helvetic/phvr8an.afm'
fonts           > afm loading > reading '/usr/share/texmf-dist/fonts/afm/adobe/helvetic/phvr8an.afm'
fonts           > afm loading > no pfb file for '/usr/share/texmf-dist/fonts/afm/adobe/helvetic/phvr8an.afm'
fonts           > defining > forced type 'afm' of 'phvr8an' not found
fonts           > defining > font with asked name 'phvr8an' is not found using lookup 'name'
fonts           > defining > unknown font 'phvr8an', loading aborted
fonts           > defining > unable to define 'helveticanarrow' as 'thedefinedfont--0'

1 Answer 1


Your system has the "metrics" file (.afm), but not the font itself (.pfb). You could probably download the file NimbusSansNarrow-Bold.t1 and rename it to phvr8an.pfb, but you should instead use TeX Gyre Heros Condensed, which is installed by default and equivalent to Helvetica Narrow:

\definedfont[name:texgyreheroscn-regular*default at 12 pt]

enter image description here

The complete Heros (Helvetica) family in the default installation:

mtxrun --script fonts --list --all --pattern='*heros*'
identifier                        familyname       fontname                          filename                        subfont   instances

texgyreherosbold                  texgyreheros     texgyreherosbold                  texgyreheros-bold.otf
texgyreherosbolditalic            texgyreheros     texgyreherosbolditalic            texgyreheros-bolditalic.otf
texgyreheroscnbold                texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedbold         texgyreheroscn-bold.otf
texgyreheroscnbolditalic          texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedbolditalic   texgyreheroscn-bolditalic.otf
texgyreheroscnitalic              texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondenseditalic       texgyreheroscn-italic.otf
texgyreheroscnnormal              texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondenseditalic       texgyreheroscn-italic.otf
texgyreheroscnregular             texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedregular      texgyreheroscn-regular.otf
texgyreheroscondensedbold         texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedbold         texgyreheroscn-bold.otf
texgyreheroscondensedbolditalic   texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedbolditalic   texgyreheroscn-bolditalic.otf
texgyreheroscondenseditalic       texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondenseditalic       texgyreheroscn-italic.otf
texgyreheroscondensedregular      texgyreheroscn   texgyreheroscondensedregular      texgyreheroscn-regular.otf
texgyreherositalic                texgyreheros     texgyreherositalic                texgyreheros-italic.otf
texgyreherosnormal                texgyreheros     texgyreherositalic                texgyreheros-italic.otf
texgyreherosregular               texgyreheros     texgyreherosregular               texgyreheros-regular.otf
  • thank you - I got it to work with nimbussansnarrow in the meantime, but now it suddenly stopped recognizing that font, which really confuses me...
    – xeruf
    Aug 30, 2022 at 8:43

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