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Document 579

The LaTeX PSNFSS packages

Version: 5.x - Scientific WorkPlace & Scientific Word

The PostScript NFSS bundle is a required part of LaTeX. The bundle provides a complete working setup of the LaTeX font selection scheme for use with PostScript fonts. The packages are installed in the TCITeX/TeX/LaTeX/required/psnfss directory. See the package documentation for more information.

The font packages included in the bundle completely replace one or more of the font families used by LaTeX for roman, sans serif, typewriter, or mathematics fonts. If the PostScript fonts are present on your system, adding the PSNFSS packages changes the default font families as shown in the table below. The top row indicates the default (Computer Modern) font family. A blank indicates that the package doesn't change the corresponding default font family.

Font Family
Package roman sans serif typewriter math
(none) CM Roman CM Sans Serif CM Typewriter $\thickapprox $ CM Roman
Mathptmx Times $\thickapprox $ Times
mathpazo Palatino $\thickapprox $ Palatino
helvet Helvetica
avant Avant Garde
courier Courier
chancery Zapf Chancery
bookman Bookman Avant Garde Courier
newcent New Century Avant Garde Courier
utopia Utopia
charter Charter

Other than installing the packages, no change is required to make the default replacements noted in the table.


The mathptmx package changes the default roman font family to Adobe Times. The virtual mathptmx fonts are used for mathematics. The package scales large mathematical symbols to fit the base font size. Bold math fonts are not supported.


The package changes the default roman font family to Adobe Palatino. The virtual mathpazo fonts are used for mathematics. Package options include slanted uppercase Greek letters, upright Delta and Omega, italic bold mathematical symbols, and large mathematical symbols. Using the mathpazo package with AMS symbols requires special attention; please refer to the package documentation.


If you have the Helvetica PostScript font installed on your system, adding the helvet package changes the default sans serif font family to Helvetica. (Helvetica is slightly larger that other typefaces. The package documentation explains how to adjust for the difference.) If the font isn't installed on your system, adding the package changes the default sans serif font to the Windows Arial font. The other font packages—avant, courier, chancery, times, palatino, bookman, newcent, utopia, charter—work the same way

Adding the package doesn't affect the default serif font. If you want your entire document to print in the Helvetica font, modify the preamble of your document:

  1. From the Typeset menu, choose Preamble.

  2. Start a new line after the last entry.

  3. Type \renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault} and choose OK.


The pifont package supports symbol fonts and provides commands for using the Zapf Dingbats font; see the package documentation for details. The package also provides an interface to other font families.


The times package implements the use of the NFSS Times font for text but leaves mathematics in the Computer Modern fonts. The package produces ligatures and improves kerning, and its use creates more portable document files. See also the mathtime package. This example illustrates the mathematics and text produced by the times package:
Example of mathematics and text produced by times package

  1. From the Typeset menu, choose Options and Packages and then choose the Package Options tab.

  2. Select the font package currently in use and choose Remove.

  3. Add the times package to your document and choose OK.

No options are available.

Last revised 08/18/05

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