Font selection in LaTeX for XeTeX and LuaTeX
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Latest commit 94059b5 Feb 11, 2017 @wspr swap Mapping/Ligature fix
can't have multiple vals for different keys
e.g., otherwise Ligatures={TeX,Rare} is broken
Failed to load latest commit information.
testfiles "check" works Feb 10, 2017
testsuite 2 more test files Jan 30, 2017
.gitignore gitignore Feb 3, 2017
.travis.yml Working on Travis-CI Feb 5, 2017 sort out Mapping/Ligature bug Feb 10, 2017
_config.yml Set theme jekyll-theme-minimal Jan 30, 2017
build.lua fix build script to not include spurious files (oops) Jan 22, 2017
fontspec-api.dtx add \fontspec_if_small_caps:TF Jan 22, 2017
fontspec-closing.dtx code cleanup (variable @@ names, initialisation) Jan 5, 2017
fontspec-doc-api.tex add \fontspec_if_small_caps:TF Jan 22, 2017
fontspec-doc-enc.tex remove \ImportEncoding entirely Jan 20, 2017
fontspec-doc-featset.tex couple more explicit font references in the docs Jan 30, 2017
fontspec-doc-fontsel.tex doc for \strong Feb 4, 2017
fontspec-doc-intro.tex doc for \strong Feb 4, 2017
fontspec-doc-luatex.tex re-org docu & break into multiple files Jan 2, 2017
fontspec-doc-opentype.tex couple more explicit font references in the docs Jan 30, 2017
fontspec-doc-style.sty fix up mono font — thanks! Feb 3, 2017
fontspec-doc-xetex.tex document Mapping restriction Feb 11, 2017
fontspec-doc.tex add link to website (having made the website!) Jan 30, 2017
fontspec-enc.dtx remove \ImportEncoding entirely Jan 20, 2017
fontspec-example.tex first attempt to split up package logically Jan 17, 2016
fontspec-feat-aat.dtx swap Mapping/Ligature fix Feb 11, 2017
fontspec-feat-opentype.dtx swap Mapping/Ligature fix Feb 11, 2017
fontspec-fontload.dtx begin to address the mapping= problem Jan 30, 2017
fontspec-graphite.dtx a few more @@ Jan 6, 2017
fontspec-internal.dtx correct subtle l3keys problem Feb 4, 2017
fontspec-keyval.dtx swap Mapping/Ligature fix Feb 11, 2017
fontspec-lang.dtx single line defs for scripts and langs Jan 2, 2017
fontspec-lua.dtx move where lua metadata is defined so I don't forget to update it!! Feb 4, 2017
fontspec-math.dtx check arevmath not are Jan 23, 2016
fontspec-msg.dtx tidyups including dead code removal Jan 18, 2017
fontspec-opening.dtx TU error checking just in case Jan 18, 2017
fontspec-opentype.dtx another debugging line Jan 31, 2017
fontspec-patches.dtx break out "nfss changes" into its own dtx Jan 30, 2017
fontspec-scripts.dtx single line defs for scripts and langs Jan 2, 2017
fontspec-user.dtx correct subtle l3keys problem Feb 4, 2017
fontspec-vars.dtx add \strong … not yet finished as I'd like Jan 31, 2017
fontspec-xfss.dtx testfile for \strong Feb 4, 2017
fontspec.cfg update CFG file -- remove old compatibility definitions Feb 1, 2016
fontspec.dtx move where lua metadata is defined so I don't forget to update it!! Feb 4, 2017
texlive.profile Working on Travis-CI Feb 5, 2017 Update Travis-CI dependencies Feb 5, 2017


The fontspec package provides an automatic and unified interface for loading fonts in LaTeX. XeTeX and LuaTeX (the latter through the luaotfload package) allows a direct interface to fonts which may be loaded by their name rather than filename, so no manual font installation is required.

This package also provides access to the large number of font features available with AAT and OpenType fonts, including upper and lower case numbers, proportional and monospaced numbers, swash letters, ligature control, and many others.

See the documentation fontspec.pdf for full information.

Release versions of fontspec are available from CTAN:

Development and historical versions are available from Github:

Please offer suggestions and file bug reports in the issue tracker:

Table of Contents

  • Summary of user commands
  • Change history ("what's new?")
  • Installation instructions
  • License details

Summary of user commands

To define commands for selecting fonts efficiently through a document:

\newfontfamily\<font switch>{<font name>}[<font options>]
\newfontface  \<font switch>{<font name>}[<font options>]

To select the default document fonts:

\setmainfont{<font name>}[<font options>]
\setsansfont{<font name>}[<font options>]
\setmonofont{<font name>}[<font options>]

To define an ad hoc font family individually:

\fontspec{<font name>}[<font options>]

To specify features to be used for every subsequently defined font:

\defaultfontfeatures{<default font options>}
\defaultfontfeatures+{<add to default font options>}

To specify features to be used for specific fonts:

\defaultfontfeatures[<font name or switch>]{<default font options>}
\defaultfontfeatures+[<font name or switch>]{<add to defaults>}

To add features to the font family currently in use:

\addfontfeatures{<font options to add>}

Change history

  • v2.5e (2017/02/10)

    • Change the new behaviour of \emph (and \emfontdeclare) to act only on the NFSS font shape; using the series as well was too fragile.
    • Add \strong as the "weight" analogy to \emph. This will need some extra syntactic sugar from fontspec before it becomes truly useful.
    • Add Numbers=Tabular alias for Numbers=Monospaced.
    • Fix occasional bug with "chained" keyval choices such as Numbers={Lining,Proportional} in which only the first choice would be recognised.
    • Fix interaction with RawFeature and "proper" fontspec features.
    • Fix regression in which C:\... file paths in Windows couldn't be used.
    • Fix regression in XeTeX in which Ligatures=TeX overrode Mapping=.. regardless of where the former was declared in the feature list.
    • Fix bug (sorry!) in \newopentypefeature.
    • Improve monospace font in documentation.

    • N.B. There is currently a known issue with TTC fonts and LuaTeX; currently they cannot be loaded through the fontspec interface, but I hope that the issue will soon be addressed in the luaotfload package.

  • v2.5d (2017/01/24) "oops"

    • Add \fontspec_if_small_caps:TF
    • Fix bug in \emph (!!)
  • v2.5c (2017/01/20) "Christmas 2016 release"

    • TU font encoding now default, with encoding files provided by the kernel.
    • Experimental interface added for customising encodings.
    • Add feature Ornament=n corresponding to OpenType feature +ornm=n.
    • Add feature FontIndex=n to support TrueType Collection (TTC) files.
    • Nested \emph is now much smarter and will cleverly nest even if manual font changes are made.
    • Tries to resolve situations when font features clash. E.g., Numbers={Uppercase,Lowercase} will define only +onum rather than the previous behaviour of +lnum;+onum to let the engine sort things out. Coverage may still be preliminary.
    • Add API function \fontspec_if_current_feature:nTF for querying selected features based on their OpenType tag.
    • Add user function \IfFontFeatureActiveTF for querying selected features based on their fontspec specification.
    • All "tag-based" OpenType features are now provided in Feat/FeatOff/FeatReset forms to disable and reset them.
    • ResetAll provided for all "tag-based" OpenType feature keys. (E.g., Ligatures=ResetAll.)
    • Big table of OpenType feature tags to help cross-reference which fontspec feature (if any) corresponds to which OpenType feature.
    • Bug fixed for Script selection.
  • v2.5b (2016/05/14) "More bugs" (somehow never released)

    • Fixed bug with garbage text printed in certain "verbatim" situations under LuaTeX.
    • Improve interaction between optical sizes and small caps.
    • Remove documentation for FeatureFile, since this is no longer supported under LuaLaTeX (there are other methods to perform the same thing, but no "easy" user interface that fontspec can provide at this stage).
    • Fix regression causing an error message if fontspec loaded before `\documentclass'.
  • v2.5a (2016/02/01) "Bugs fixed"

    • Rather embarrassing bug fix! (unicode-math was broken.)
    • Remember to add the fontspec.cfg file to the distribution.
    • Remove +trep from Ligatures=TeX (no longer necessary).
    • Add some basic tests using l3build; more to come.
    • Simplify some internal Lua code and package loading code.
  • v2.5 (2016/01/30) "TL2016 release"

    • Provide a new Unicode font encoding ("TU") to replace EU1/EU2 and xunicode.
    • Activate with package option [tuenc]'; once it becomes the default (later this year),[euenc]` option will revert to the old behaviour.
    • New command \emfontdeclare for defining font shapes when arbitrarily nesting the \emph command.
    • Allow slanted small caps and better internal methods for "combining" font shapes; this fixes a few bugs.
    • Incorporate "new" font script tags for Indic fonts. E.g., when selecting Script=Bengali, fontspec will first query the font for the bng2 OpenType script, and if not found select beng.
    • Restrict some font features from being able to be used within \addfontfeatures that were causing some font-loading confusion.
    • Fixed behaviour in which \baselineskip and \f@size would (possibly) change values after loading the packge.
    • Remove copy of fixltx2e's code for footnote symbols; handled by LaTeX2e now.
    • Deprecate ExternalLocation for the simpler (and identical) Path option.
    • Improvement to some warnings/info messages.
    • Improve structure of code.
  • v2.4e (2015/09/24)

    • Allow [Path=...] to be specified for individual font faces.
    • Continue to normalise naming with expl3. (Ongoing.)
  • v2.4d (2015/07/22)

    • Rename an internal expl3 function or two.
  • v2.4c (2015/03/14)

    • v2.4b was never released, sorry!
    • This time really fix \@fnsymbol and avoid overwriting it if already fixed.
    • Fix "Renderer=Graphite" (off-by-one error).
    • Fix some edge cases for \aliasfontfeature.
  • v2.4b (2014/08/23)

    • Improve backwards compatibility w.r.t. recent argument order change; specifically, if an optional argument is presented before the font name then avoid looking for one afterwards.
    • Fix \@fnsymbol; it was defined as a \protected macro, where in fact its internal text-or-math switch needed to be instead.
    • No longer lowercase fontnames internally; this fixes a bug with loading mixed-case ".fontspec" files.
    • Fixed some documentation typos/inconsistencies related to recent changes.
  • v2.4a (2014/06/21)

    • No longer load fixltx2e.sty -- this package should really be loaded before \documentclass.
    • Avoid deprecated l3fp code.
    • A couple of bugs introduced with v2.4 fixed.
  • v2.4 (2014/06/01)

    • Significant change to the user interface: instead of \setmainfont[features]{font}, you now write \setmainfont{font}[features]. Backwards compatibility is of course preserved.

      The reason for this change is to improve the visual comprehension of the font loading syntax with large numbers of font features.

    • Defaults for symbolic font families like this can now be specified with



    • New PunctuationSpace=WordSpace and PunctuationSpace=TwiceWordSpace settings, intended for monospaced fonts; these force the space after a period to be exactly one or two spaces wide, respectively, which preserves character alignment across lines.

    • The features above now allow changes to the default settings:

      • Ligatures=TeX is enabled by default with \setmainfont and \setsansfont.
      • WordSpace={1,0,0} and PunctuationSpace=WordSpace are now enabled by default for \setmonofont to produce better monospaced results.
      • (These can be adjusted by created your own fontspec.cfg file.)
    • SizeFeatures can now be nested inside ItalicFeatures (etc.) and behaves correctly. This has been a very long overdue bug!

    • New feature NFSSFamily=ABC to set the NFSS family of a font to “ABC”. Useful when other packages use the \fontfamily{ABC}\selectfont interface.

    • New feature FontFace = {series}{shape}{font} allows a font face to be loaded with a specific NFSS font series and font shape. A more verbose syntax allows arbitrary font features as well (and this also plays nicely with SizeFeatures):

          FontFace = {b}{ui}{Font = myfont-bui.otf, <features>} ,

      The code above, for example, will allow a bold upright italic font to be selected using the standard NFSS interface: \fontseries{b}\fontshape{ui}\selectfont.

    • \defaultfontfeatures+ (note the +) can now be used to append to the default font feature set.

    • Setting the SmallCapsFont using the *-replacement notation has been improved/fixed.

  • v2.3c (2013/05/20)

    • Compatbility with luaotfload 2013/05/20 2.2c, support for older version removed.
  • v2.3b (2013/05/12)

    • Compatibility with new (and future) version of luaotfload
  • v2.3a (2013/03/16)

    • Bug fix update to retain compatibility with new expl3
  • v2.3 (2013/02/25)

    • Add support for per-font options in \defaultfontfeatures
    • Add support for <fontname>.fontspec per-font configuration files
    • Keep up-to-date with expl3 changes
  • v2.2b (2012/05/06) "TL2012 version"

    • Fix error with AutoFakeSlant/Bold (#113) and when used with external fonts (#128)
    • Add warning when using FakeBold in LuaLaTeX, where it's not supported
    • Fix slshape misassignment introduced in v2.2
    • Allow fontspec to be loaded before \documentclass (or rather fix the regression that broke this)
    • Avoid using the calc package now that it's no longer loaded by expl3
    • Allow multiple values to StylisticSet and Alternate font options
  • v2.2a (2011/09/14)

    • Bug fix: improve backwards compatibility for packages that use old fontspec internals such as mathspec.
  • v2.2 (2011/09/13)

    • Support alternate selections in CharacterVariant (cvxx in OpenType) using new syntax [CharacterVariant=5:2].
    • Add fontspec-compatible \oldstylenums and \liningnums commands.
    • New programmer's function \fontspec_set_fontface:NNnn (for use when \zf@basefont might previously have been queried).
    • Log file output is slightly tidier.
    • Some old lingering bugs squashed:
      • Small caps font selection was broken in some cases. (Thanks Enrico Gregorio.)
      • Fonts loaded by filename with under-specified shapes threw an error (e.g., asking explicitly for bold but not italic). (Thanks Vafa Khalighi.)
    • Documentation improvements largely due to Markus Böhning.
    • Many internal changes, among which:
      • xkeyval package no longer used for option processing; expl3's l3keys used instead. This allows fontspec to be loaded before \documentclass (thanks Heiko Oberdiek for reporting the issue) and fixes a potential conflict with the preview package (thanks again Vafa).
      • Internal names changed; avoid "\zf@basefont", "\zf@family", etc. from now on -- there are public interfaces now to get access to the same information
      • Update expl3 support to latest CTAN version.
  • v2.1g (2011/08/02)

    • No longer uses the binhex package, avoiding some name clashes with TIPA
  • v2.1f (2011/02/26)

    • Finally add a real error message when a font cannot be found!
    • Add "Letters=Random" feature.
    • Fix bug in which "Unknown feature `'..." warnings were shown in the log file.
    • Some small documentation improvements.
  • v2.1e (2010/11/17)

    • Internal changes for luatexbase v0.3.
  • v2.1d (2010/11/07)

    • Bug fix when \itdefault is "sl" rather than "it". E.g., when using the "slides" class.
    • Minor internal changes, including merging some code from unicode-math.
  • v2.1c (2010/10/13)

    • New documentation for defining custom kerning and ligatures when using LuaLaTeX.
    • Fix bug when defining bold italic fonts by filename.
    • Avoid infinite loop when the Latin script is requested for a font that does not contain it. TODO: a suitable fallback script should be chosen; right now we just ignore the script selection.
  • v2.1b (2010/09/29)

    • Fix for bug introduced in the last release: small caps weren't being automatically selected correctly
  • v2.1a (2010/09/27)

    • Fix for colours bug introduced in the last update
    • Fix for for bad interaction with LuaLaTeX and fallback fonts (such as using \slshape when no slanted font specified)
    • Behaviour/messaging improvement when scripts/languages are requested that do not exist in the font
    • Fix bug with detecting font features/scripts in some cases with:

      • \fontspec_if_feature:n(TF)
      • \fontspec_if_language:n(TF)
      • \fontspec_if_current_script:n(TF)
      • \fontspec_if_current_language:n(TF)
    • Some messages in the log file are improved

    • Code for "visible space" fixed for LuaLaTeX use
    • Lots of internal changes to bring the implementation closer to being "native expl3".
  • v2.1 (2010/09/19)

    • Now load xunicode internally for consistent behaviour in XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX.
    • Font commands now include \fontencoding internally, easing their use together with legacy TeX fonts.
    • Colour & Opacity now behave a little better.
    • Nested emphasis with \emph now also occurs inside a "slanted" shape.
    • Some compatibility commands/options added that were removed. in the transition to v2.
    • Bug fix for a problem triggered after counters got too high.
  • v2.0c (2010/08/01) Bug fix and documentation tune-up.

    • Significant bug fix reported simultaneously by Enrico Gregorio and Don Hosek.
    • Many documentation improvements and additions due to David Perry.
    • Documentation typo thanks to John McChesney-Young
  • v2.0b (2010/07/14) Actually the final release before TeX Live 2010.

    • Improved examples in the documentation, with fewer proprietary fonts
    • All font examples are included as separate images on CTAN, so the manual can be compiled (with pdfLaTeX) by anyone, anywhere
    • LuaLaTeX fixes for the StylisticSet and Annotation features
    • New OpenType feature CharacterVariant now supported
    • Minor change: Ligatures=Historical is now Ligatures=Historic for consistency
  • v2.0a (2010/07/11) Final release before TeX Live 2010.

    • Bug fix for the Language setting being ignored
    • Add programmer's command \fontspec_glyph_if_exist:NnTF
    • Many documentation improvements, especially for LuaTeX features FeatureFile=... and Numbers=Arabic.
    • Add Parsi and Persian synonyms for Language=Farsi


If you are running TeX Live, you can get the latest version of this package by running

tlmgr install fontspec

If you wish to download the latest release version from CTAN, get the pre-built TDS package and extract it into your local texmf tree:

If you wish to use the latest development version from Github, either use git to obtain the bleeding edge version with

git clone git://

or if you don't have git you can download it from

Having obtained the package from Github, extract the package code by running

tex fontspec.dtx

and then move the necessary files into your local texmf tree. The documentation can be compiled by running

xelatex -shell-escape fontspec.dtx

These steps are automated in the Makefile; run

texlua build.lua install

to compile the documentation and install all necessary files in your local texmf tree. Depending how your TeX distribution is configured you may then need to update the filename database with texhash.


Copyright 2004--2016 Will Robertson Copyright 2009--2010 Khaled Hosny

Distributable under the LaTeX Project Public License, version 1.3c or higher (your choice). The latest version of this license is at:

This work is "maintained" (as per LPPL maintenance status) by Will Robertson.