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

snippet.latex
\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:

snippet.latex
\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.

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