What are the possible values for \fontseries and \fontshape? I'm aware of



But I'm sure there're more of them.

  • 6
    There's really no fixed set. The possible values depend on what's set up in the .fd file for the encoding-family pair.
    – egreg
    Aug 25, 2012 at 15:26
  • @egreg Now I've found (opening the .fd file) that my font has l for "light", and even it has itsc for italic small caps...
    – yo'
    Aug 25, 2012 at 15:46

3 Answers 3


Series, any combination of weight and width is [in theory] possible:

weight                    width
Ultra Light       ul      Ultra Condensed     uc    
Extra Light       el      Extra Condensed     ec    
Light             l       Condensed            c      
Semi Light        sl      Semi Condensed      sc    
Medium (normal)   m
Semi Bold         sb      Semi Expanded       sx    
Bold              b       Expanded             x 
Extra Bold        eb      Extra Expanded      ex 
Ultra Bold        ub      Ultra Expanded      ux


upright (normal)   n 
italic             it
slanted/oblique    sl 
small caps         sc
upright italic     ui
outline            ol 

It depends to the definition of the font, if there are less or more ... For the current TL 2012 we get the following values for the series:


and for the shape:


See comment below where Heiko lists some fonts which refer to the given values.

  • 5
    SERIES: sbx (kpfonts), db (romande), dbuc/mc/muc/mux (venturissans), mb (venturis2), sbc/lc (chextras), mx (venturissans2), z/d/o/s (libertine-legacy), ebc/ubc/lx/ebx (kurier), cl (opensans), k (allrunes). SHAPE: scsl (kpfonts), si (venturissans), scit (tex-gyre), ic/bc (libertine-legacy), ac (frcursive), oi (boisik), gu/gi (gillcm), sco/cal/kfn (kerkis), tabnums/textnumnums/textdenomnums (gfsartemisia), Jm/jm/ds/ta/oj/so/sr/sk/fr/crml/s (arabtex), itsc/slsc (bengali), t/r/q/m (allrunes) Aug 25, 2012 at 19:49
  • 2
    SHAPE: In/Isl/Iit (cyrillic). Aug 25, 2012 at 19:50
  • I also use the shape bl for two chessfonts (berlin and alpha in the enpassant package) to access black figurines. Aug 26, 2012 at 11:17
  • 1
    Great Answer! Good to see that a lot more is going on internally than \bfseries (which should really be called \bxseries) and \itshape might make you believe :-) Aug 26, 2012 at 13:16
  • 1
    Some fonts like Cormorant and EB Garamond define separate regular and medium weights, the former seeming preferred for body text, yet the latter being less heavy than semi-bold. If m is recognized as designating normal text, and if a separate weight already takes the label sb, what labels should be used for regular and medium?
    – brainchild
    Nov 10, 2019 at 6:42

The standard manual for such questions are fntguide LaTeX2ε font selection

Here you can find the following hint:

The most common values for the font series are:

m             Medium
b             Bold
bx            Bold extended
sb            Semi-bold
c             Condensed

The most common values for the font shape are:

n              Normal (that is ‘upright’ or ‘roman’)
it             Italic 
sl             Slanted (or ‘oblique’)
sc             Caps and small caps

You can select what you want as long as the font file exist.

  • 3
    This is not completely true. As egreg mentioned, the .fd file defines which fonts exist. That is, there could be font files which are not referred in the .fd and are thus never used. Aug 25, 2012 at 15:57
  • @StephanLehmke: I know. The list is longer. However this are the standard ones. Aug 25, 2012 at 16:48
  • 1
    Sorry for not being clear. What I meant is it can well be that the font file exists, but you still cannot select it because the .fd file doesn't list it. Aug 25, 2012 at 17:28
  • @StephanLehmke: Indeed. Aug 25, 2012 at 18:01

The accepted answer by Herbert follows the list from The LaTeX Companion (on page 414 of the second edition), except that it doesn’t misleadingly display normal width as m (never appended to the code for the series). The LaTeX2e Font Selection Guide recommends, “Whenever possible, you should use the series and shape names suggested in The LaTeX Companion, since this will make it easier to combine new fonts with existing fonts.” However, the qualifier matters. Sometimes, that list isn’t sufficient.

The “Font Installation Guide” adds two additional weights, mb (between m and sb, usually for Medium if Semibold and Regular or Book also exist) and db (for Demibold, between sb and b). A few packages, including nfssext-cfr, support them. If a font has only one weight between Regular and Bold, I recommend labeling it sb (as, for example, Computer Modern Demi), but many fonts come in Regular, Medium, Semibold and Bold, and in this case m, mb, sb and b are the most standard names for them.

Another common case is Italic or Slanted Small Caps. Existing fonts and packages have used scit, itsc, scsl, slsc, and si as a shape name for them. At least one coder put the line \let\scit\itsc in a font package! Fortunately, the issue becomes obsolete if you use fontspec, because small caps is a font feature in OpenType, not a separate font.

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