[OS X TeX] different defaults for size?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue May 10 05:37:47 EDT 2005

On May 10, 2005, at 12:55 AM, Hendrik Chaltin wrote:

> I was trying to make up my mind
> about what version of \mathcal to use
> \usepackage{mathptmx} or \usepackage{mathpazo}
> when I suddenly realized
> that the packages seem to induce
> slightly different defaults for \mathrm and \textrm
> (perhaps others too, I didn't check).
> It is visible both on the screen
> and on the outprint.
> I do not mind what size exactly  the default is,
> but I don't want the aspect of entire documents to change
> just because I decide to change the \mathcal font.
> How can I fix the size default?

The size of a font is ill-defined, so changing the typeface will  
completely rearrange a document. Please try different typefaces to  
see which one you like best, as the readability can vary greatly  
between typefaces [*]. Note that both mathptmx and mathpazo not only  
change the math fonts, but also the text font. Or rather: they are  
among the few packages that change the math font as well as changing  
the main text font.

To visualise this (easily) open TextEdit, type a one-liner ("Help I'm  
a rock"), and paste it in a few times (each one on a new line, in  
Rich Text Mode (Format menu). You may want to make the size a bit  
bigger (I used 18pt). The default seems to be Times New Roman (the  
Microsoft rip-off of Times). Bring up the fonts panel (cmd-T). Select  
each line in turn, and change the font. You'll notice that both the  
line height and the line-length change when the typeface changes.  
This is no real surprise for things like bold and ultra-thin  
(Helvetica Neue), but the difference can be rather large, even in  
such a short sentence.

[*] Possible options include: Utopia + Fourier, Times (mathptmx),  
Palatino (mathpazo), Lucida (commercial, pretty hard to get these  
days). All of these synchronise the mathematical fonts with the text  
fonts (which is usually what you want, computer modern looks very  
thin compared to pretty much any other typeface. Times will probably  
fit most text on a page.

If you just want to change the text font, there are more (free)  
options: Garamond, Charter, ... look on CTAN.

One of the Euler packages (eulervm) just changes the math fonts, and  
goes remarkably well with a variety of text fonts (much better than  
CM in most cases).

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