Latex Font Styles

LaTeX Text Styles

The most common font styles in {\small \LaTeX} are bold, italics and underline.  The \textit command will generate italics

Other styles are also available.  The first command is used to make a global declaration or font switch, and the second is used for discrete text blocks wrapped in braces:

  • Medium Series:           \mdseries        \textmd{}
  • Boldface Series:           \bfseries        \textbf{}
  • Roman Family:           \rmfamily        \textrm{}
  • Sans Serif Family:      \sffamily        \textsf{}
  • Typewriter Family:     \ttfamily        \texttt{}
  • Upright Shape:           \upshape         \textup{}
  • Italic Shape:                \itshape         \textit{}
  • Slanted Shape:            \slshape         \textsl{}
  • Small Caps Shape:     \scshape         \textsc{}
  • Normal Style:             \normalfont      \textnormal{}

LaTeX Font Sizes

Font sizes are identified by special names, the actual size is not absolute but relative to the font size declared in the \documentclass statement.  The following  commands are listed in order of increasing font size:TextFormat2

  • \tiny{}
  • \scriptsize{}
  • \footnotesize{}
  • \small{}
  • \normalsize{}
  • \large{}
  • \Large{}
  • \LARGE{}
  • \Huge{}

LaTeX Font Formats

Using italics, bold or underlined words helps to direct the eye or to highlight important concepts.  There are a range of standard font formats:TextFormat1

  • \textbf{} for bold text
  • \textmd{} for medium
  • \textit{} for italics
  • \textsl{} for slanted
  • \underline{} for underline
  • \textsc{} for small capital letters
  • \uppercase{} for large capital letters
  • \textsuperscript{} for raised text
  • \textsubscript{} for lowered text
  • \texttt{} for terminal text
  • \oldstylenums{} for old number font

Default Font Families in LaTeX

In standard {\small \LaTeX}, the serif typeface (a.k.a. roman)  is the default used. The other font typefaces (sans serif and typewriter, a.k.a. monospace) can also be used using the following declaration or format commands:

  • Serif/Roman:      \rmfamily    \textrm{}
  • San Serif:             \sffamily    \textsf{}
  • Typewriter:         \ttfamily    \texttt{}

Package Font Families for LaTeX

There are many packages, which serve to expand the font families available.  Some ship with {\small \LaTeX}, others are provided by publishers or open-source archives.  Packaged fonts can be used in the preamble to set the document default, or to change the font for a section of text.

In the following example, the preamble is expanded to define Courier font as the default

To change font selection for a block of text, use:

The font family code pcr, is unique to the font package.  A comprehensive list of {\small \LaTeX} fonts, package names, and font family codes can be found here.

LaTeX Math Fonts and Styles

There are four styles used in typesetting math formulas which affect the size and certain formatting parameters (notably the placement of sub and superscripts on variable size symbols).

  • \textstyle:                   default in the running text and array environment
  • \displaystyle:             default for displayed equations
  • \scriptstyle:               default for first-level sub and superscripts
  • \scriptscriptstyle:   defaults for higher-level sub and superscripts

All four of these may be used in math mode as global declarations to force the type size and formatting to a style other than what would normally be used.

For example, to get a superscript that is the same size as the running text:

 The following commands change the style only of letters, numbers, and uppercase Greek.

  • \mathit:     Italics (same as \mit)
  • \mathrm:     Roman
  • \mathbf:     Bold face
  • \mathsf:     San Serif
  • \mathtt:     Typewriter style
  • \mathcal:   Calligraphic

All of these produce spacing appropriate for text; they do not interpret each letter as a separate math symbol. The \boldmath declaration causes everything (including symbols) in a formula to be in a bold font.

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