[texhax] Defining a new font in Plain Tex

Paul Isambert zappathustra at free.fr
Tue Jan 12 12:31:40 CET 2010

I take it for granted that "Bank Gothic" is an OpenType or TrueType 
font, i.e. not a font that was tailored specifically for TeX. (For 
instance you can use Bank Gothic in a text processor like OpenOffice 
Writer, I suppose.)
Indeed, TeX, which predates most forms of computer typography, uses its 
own font format. Hence two solutions:

- Converting your True- or OpenType font into TeX's format. There exist 
applications to do so, but I can't help you there.
- Turning from TeX to XeTeX, an implementation that takes modern font 
formats (and modern encodings, for that matter).

The later solution is easy. Use XeTeX in your distribution instead of 
TeX or eTeX or pdfTeX or whatever you use to compile. Most likely, the 
only noticeable difference will be that you'll produce pdf directly 
(there's no output in dvi).

Now, to use your font, say:

\font\bankgothic="Bank Gothic" at 10pt % If you want 10pt of course

If there are italic or bold variants, say:

\font\bankgothicit="Bank Gothic /I" at 10pt
\font\bankgothicbf="Bank Gothic /B" at 10pt
\font\bankgothicitbf="Bank Gothic /IB" at 10pt

Now, to use your font, just issue the \bankgothic command. However to 
automatically have italic Bank Gothic with \it, you must redefine it to


and so on for other styles.

To switch back to your default font, say \tenpoint, or simply use Bank 
Gothic in a group:

Text with default font ... {\bankgothic Text with the Bank Gothic font} 
... text with default font ...

so you don't need to restore anything.


a écrit :
> Here's a new problem for me. I want to use a font that isn't computer modern or related to TeX in any way. (It's "Bank Gothic" if anyone's interested, and yes, it's one my computer... a Mac running Snow Leopard.) Can anyone tell me what code to use to allow me to use this? Knuth and Bechtolshein only mention "other fonts" and "third party fonts can be used" and mention "metafonts," etc., but don't give the actual coding for it. I'm not a TeX expert per se, just someone who has to use it because I'm told to, so I'm a little lost.
> Can anyone help?
> Thanks.
> Elaine
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