The metsymb package was just uploaded to CTAN. This is the final stage in a long process to include (custom) vectorial symbols in Python plots via LaTeX - and for which I already got a lot of help from the hivemind here, there, and over there.

I am able to install the font manually using the instructions listed in the Github repo. I (naïvely ?) thought that with the package on CTAN, I could then install it more easily using Tex Live Utility.

Sadly, although the installation was "successful" according to Tex Live Utility:

  1. I cannot run the metsymb_mwe.py MWE, which gives me the following error:
LookupError: An associated PostScript font (required by Matplotlib) could not be found
for TeX font 'metsymb' in '/usr/local/texlive/2023/texmf-var/fonts/map/pdftex/updmap/pdftex.map'; 
this problem can often be solved by installing a suitable PostScript font package in
your TeX package manager
  1. Trying to plot any symbol using LaTeXiT fails with the following log message:
    LaTeX Font Warning: Font shape `U/metsymb/m/n' undefined
    (Font)              using `U/cmr/m/n' instead on input line 8.
    LaTeX Font Warning: Some font shapes were not available, defaults substituted.

Which begs the question: is something wrong with the metsymb package (that prevents a successful automatic install), or is it simply not possible to install a package like metsymb with Tex Live Utility ?

This post indirectly suggests the latter. But surely, there is something I could improve in metsymb to enable a working automatic install via package managers ?

Running OSX 13.0 with a fresh MacTeX 2023 install.

  • 1
    the installation in texlive is faulty, the umetsymb.fd is missing and the map file has not been activated. If I correct both it works. Write to the texlive mailing list, then it should be ok tomorrow. Commented Aug 31, 2023 at 15:31
  • Thanks a lot for the suggestion @Ulrike Fischer !
    – fpavogt
    Commented Sep 5, 2023 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


As suggested by @Ulrike Fischer, the problem was on the Tex Live side of things. The CTAN/Tex Live gurus could fix the problem (after I contacted them), and the metsymb package can now be installed without issues.

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