Better script fonts for maths#

The font selected by \mathcal is the only script font « built in ». However, there are other useful calligraphic fonts included with modern TeX distributions.

  • Euler : The eucal package (part of most sensible TeX distributions; the fonts are part of the AMS font set) gives a slightly curlier font than the default. The package changes the font that is selected by \mathcal (Type 1 versions of the fonts are available in the AMS fonts distribution).

  • mathabx : The mathabx bundle provides calligraphic letters (in both upper and lower case); the fonts were developed in MetaFont, but a version in Adobe Type 1 format is available. The bundle’s documentation offers a series of comparisons of its calligraphic set with Computer Modern’s (both regular mathematical and calligraphic letters); the difference are not large.

  • mnsymbol : The mnsymbol bundle provides (among many other symbols) a set of calligraphic letters, though (again) they’re rather similar to the default Computer Modern set.

  • RSFS : The mathrsfs package uses a really fancy script font (the name stands for « Ralph Smith’s Formal Script ») which is already part of most modern TeX distributions (Type 1 versions of the font are also provided, courtesy of Taco Hoekwater). The package creates a new command \mathscr.

  • RSFSO : The bundle rsfso provides a less dramatically oblique version of the RSFS fonts; the result proves quite pleasing — similar to the effect of the the (commercial) script font in the Adobe Mathematical Pi collection.

  • Zapf Chancery is the standard PostScript calligraphic font. There is no package but you can easily make it available by means of the command

% !TEX noedit
\DeclareMathAlphabet{\mathscr}{OT1}{pzc}{m}{it}

in your preamble. You may find the font rather too big; if so, you can use a scaled version of it like this :

% !TEX noedit
\DeclareFontFamily{OT1}{pzc}{}
\DeclareFontShape{OT1}{pzc}{m}{it}{<-> s * [0.900] pzcmi7t}{}
\DeclareMathAlphabet{\mathscr}{OT1}{pzc}{m}{it}

Adobe Zapf Chancery (which the above examples use) is distributed in any but the most basic PostScript printers. A substantially identical font (to the extent that the same metrics may be used) is available from URW, called URW Chancery L : it is distributed as part of the « URW base35 » bundle; the urwchancal package (which includes virtual fonts to tweak appearance) provides for its use as a calligraphic font.

The TeX Gyre font family also includes a Chancery replacement, Chorus; use it with tgchorus (and ignore the complaints about needing to change font shape).

Examples of the available styles are linked from the packages” catalogue entries.


Source : Better script fonts for maths