Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Latex math fonts vs text fonts

  1. Oct 17, 2011 #1


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I've been using Latex for many years now. But there is a feature which I feel more and more uneasy about: At least in plain latex you are supposed to do subscripts, minus signs, in math mode, even when writing a simple number with exponent in text mode. Another example would be expressions like "α-particle". However, latex uses different fonts for math and text, which produces quite ugly results.
    I know that there are packages like comptex etc. which provide some commands for text mode.
    My main reason I want to avoid using math mode is that I am working now on a field where latex is not very common for publications and not all publishers (or colleagues) accept it. So I want to be able to convert a file into rtf with latex2rtf in case of emergency.

    What are your favourite solutions to this problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    I match the text and math fonts by using

    % For Times


    % For Charter

    (More options "ftp://tug.ctan.org/pub/tex-archive/info/Free_Math_Font_Survey/survey.html"[/URL].)
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  4. Oct 19, 2011 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You can use \textsubscript{} and \textsuperscript{} outside math mode. If you use them a lot, make your own shorter names for them.

    Or you can use \mathrm{} or \mbox{} to get "normal" text inside math mode.

    Arguably math minus signs $-$, em dashes -- and en dashes --- should be three different glyphs, but nobody is going to arrest you for font violation if you think otherwise.

    The whole point of LaTeX is to separate the content of the document from the details of its appearance. In genuinely "plan latex" you would be using Knuth's Computer Modern fonts for the text so everything will look harmonious (but not necessarily pretty, unless you really like the CMR fonts). If you want to override the math fonts, you can do that with many existing packages, or you can do it yourself. To find out how, use an existing package (e.g. file txfonts.sty) as an example, and find out what the commands do if you can't guess.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook