Thermochemical Database (TDB) project

LaTeX fonts used in the TDB project


General information about LaTeX fonts

As detailed in the book "The LaTeX companion", because of the large number of special signs and characters used by LaTeX, if one wishes to use LaTeX for typesetting mathematical and chemical formulae, rather than merely standard running text, there is not a plethora of choices. Basically, there are three possibilities:
  1. Use the "standard" LaTeX fonts. This is the easiest solution, since all LaTeX installations have these fonts available, and they contain all the necessary special characters and signs. Further, these fonts are available at no extra cost. However, they are regarded as a bit "ugly" by many people.
  2. Use the Adobe PostScript Times (New) Roman font. To work well both on screen and for printing, this requires access to at least the .pfb or .pfa files for the Adobe Times New Roman, Helvetica and Courier fonts. These come with the Adobe Type Manager, Adobe Acrobat and other programs, but are not freely available. It also requires some kind of solution for mathematical formulae, the best of which is to buy the MathTime fonts from Y&Y, which complement the Times New Roman font with lots and lots of signs and characters for typesetting formulae, chemical and mathematical. This solution looks nicer than the standard LaTeX fonts, but is tricky to install and costs money (although not a lot).
  3. Buy the Lucida fonts from Y&Y, which look good, are easier to install and contain all the necessary signs and characters for typesetting LaTeX text and formulae.
While solution number 3 may look as the easiest and best, the Times font is becoming standard within the OECD and was chosen for use with the TDB project for this reason, and because it looks better than the standard LaTeX fonts.

Ordering MathTime fonts

The MathTime fonts can be bought from Y&Y Inc., whose web site gives all the necessary information for ordering.

Using PostScript fonts with LaTeX

To use the Adobe PostScript font "Times New Roman" for running text in a document, use the LaTeX package "times", inserting the following in your document preamble:
To see these fonts in a nice way, one needs to let the program dvips (for making PostScript output from LaTeX .dvi files) and Ghostscript (for interpreting PostScript) have the .pfb or .pfa files for the relevant fonts (Times New Roman, Times New Roman Italic, Times New Roman Bold, Times New Roman Bold Italic, Courier, Courier Bold etc. etc.). The documentation for dvips and ghostscript will tell you how to do this.

To use the MathTime PostScript font with LaTeX for typesetting formulae etc., use the LaTeX mathtime packages plus some others, inserting the following in your document preamble:

This assumes that the MathTime font files have been installed in your LaTeX tree. In the local TDB installation, these fonts can be found under
and everything should be ready to run once you have installed MikTeX.

Related links

TDB introduction

Latest project news

General information

Other thermochemical database sites

E-mail contact: 


Restricted areas

The following links are password-protected.

TDB Phase II home page

TDB Phase III home page

Last reviewed: 27 May 2011