[Tex/LaTex] going on with all these Times clones


So, I've been loading Times in my documents via the following method


So as to get the math support of mathptmx but the better kerning and such of tgterms.
However today I noticed there are a TON of Times packages on CTAN:

Times: Package: mathptmx. "The font that is actually provided is URW Nimbus Roman (A Times clone). An enhanced version is available with the TeX Gyre Termes font."

Nimbus Roman: Package: nimbus. "Nimbus Roman is a clone of Times. An enhanced version is available with the TeX Gyre Termes font."

TeX Gyre Termes: Package: tgtermes. "The TeX Gyre Termes family of fonts is based on the Nimbus Roman No9 L family, but heavily extended."

So I thought that mathptmx was a version of nimbus with better math support, and tgtermes was an upgraded version without math support. Oddly when I tried to load nimbus in TeXLive 2012 it couldn't find the sty file.

Then today I find:

New TX: packages newtxtext,newtxmath. "The text font provided is URW Nimbus Roman (A Times clone). The package is mostly for math support. The fonts are enhanced versions of the TX Fonts. Other implementations of the Times font is mathptmx and TeX Gyre Termes."

Loading these I can't see a visible difference from the way I had been loading my fonts. There is obviously a difference though as I wound up with one line getting shoved to a new page with New TX and not my old font packages.

Then to cap it all off, I find there is a times package that isn't listed in the LaTeX Font Catalogue. I seem to recall hearing it was outdated?

Can someone explain the relationships of all these packages?

Best Answer

Fonts and LaTeX is always complicated, also because of the (even more complicated) intellectual property laws surrounding fonts.

There are quite a lot of Times packages, most of which are ancient. The more recent packages are tgtermes and newtx. The latter has a focus on small improvements and providing great maths support. The TeX gyre project is focused on providing great quality Type1 and (mainly) OpenType fonts.


  • mathptmx, times and nimbus. These files come from psfonts. An older package providing several postscript fonts for use in LaTeX. My understanding is that mathptmx provides the URW Nimbus Roman font with added maths support. times and nimbus are similar, but do not have maths support.
  • newtxtext and newtxmath are improved versions of the TX Fonts, which are versions of Nimbus Roman. They also have good maths support.
  • tgtermes provides TeX Gyre Termes, the result of a project to provide high quality fonts. It's based on URW Nimbus Roman, which was donated to the project.

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