I have always felt that the 10 pt font looks nicer than 12 pt, either in PDF or printed. The 12 pt looks taller (in other words the 10pt looks fatter).

My questions are:

  1. Is the 12 pt font a scaled version of the 10 pt one?
  2. If not, then how can we create a new 12 pt font by scaling the 10 pt one (in both LaTeX and XeLaTex)? It seems that by doing so we'll obtain a thicker version of the 12pt font.
  • 4
    Just in case you want a thicker version of the computer modern fonts, you can take a look at the mlmodern and newcomputermodern (book weight) fonts. these are clones of computer modern, but heavier. the newcomputermodern fonts have full unicode coverage, plus some additional symbols. Sep 21 at 8:05
  • 2
    And no, the CM 12pt fonts are not simply scaled versions. Fonts generally become thinner and squished in the vertical direction as the point size increases. I don't know about pdflatex, but you can simply pass the scaled option to the \setmainfont command with fontspec. Sep 21 at 8:10
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    @ApoorvPotnis Thanks a lot! newcomputermodern looks very promising. However I would still like to obtain an answer for my second question, just to have an additional option.
    – f10w
    Sep 21 at 8:21
  • The package relsize might be of use, although I have not tested the output. ctan.org/pkg/relsize?lang=en Sep 21 at 12:48
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    @cfr Thanks. I've deleted the "Update" part to avoid any confusions.
    – f10w
    Sep 25 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


Computer modern fonts were generated by Metafont to many sizes designed ideally for such size (i.e. optical sizes). For example, Coputer Modern Roman was generated to cmr5, cmr6, cmr7, cmr8, cmr9, cmr10, cmr12, cmr17.

You should use cmr10 for 10pt size or cmr12 for 12pt size. But TeX allows geometrical scaling too (of course) using "at parameter" of the \font primitive.

\font\fc=cmr10 at12pt

\fa Here is 10pt size font cmr10.
\fb Here is 12pt size font cmr12.
\fc Here is 12pt size font cmr10.
  • Great answer!!! Thank you so much! Would it be possible to add a solution for Latin Modern as well please?
    – f10w
    Sep 22 at 3:17
  • @f10w Note that you probably don't want to use this as a solution in LaTeX, even though it demonstrates the differences nicely.
    – cfr
    Sep 22 at 4:29
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    wipet as you know this is simply wrong/confusing for latex (which leads to the @f10w asking a followup question tex.stackexchange.com/questions/696628/…) No objection to a plain/primitive answer here but as the OP specified latex in the question you could have mentioned that fonts declared this way will not interact with the latex font mechanisms. Sep 22 at 10:52
  • The question didn't mention LaTeX. If somebody have a LaTeX-dependent answer, he/she can add such an answer here.
    – wipet
    Sep 22 at 11:35
  • 3
    The question specifies 'LaTeX and XeLaTeX'. Please make the limitations of this answer clear.
    – cfr
    Sep 22 at 13:44

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