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How can I get an arbitrary font size in LaTeX?

The standard fonts that LaTeX uses are bitmaps. These bitmapped fonts can, theoretically, be generated at any point size; however, this requires that you know how to run the font-generating program (metafont) and have enough space to store the bitmapped fonts that are generated. Generally, though, you'll just use the sizes that have already been created, and these are only in the standard (\large, \Huge, etc) sizes.

However, if you use a postscript font, you can use whatever size you want, since these are not stored as bitmaps anywhere, but instead generated at the right size internally on the printer. So, if you're using a postscript font (say, by specifying "timrom" or "newcen" in the documentstyle), you can use arbtrary sizes of these fonts, by just saying:

	\newfont{\wayhuge}{t-rom scaled 10000}

Then, if you used

	{\wayhuge Big}

you would get "Big" in 100pt Times Roman when you printed it.

You should also specify the following environment variables in order to get the file to latex cleanly when using many of the postscript fonts. Just type (or include these lines in your .environment file):

attach texfonts
attach sipb

setenv TEXFONTS .:/usr/athena/lib/tex/fonts:/mit/sipb/share/tex/fonts/tfm:/mit/sipb/share/tex/fonts/vf:/mit/texfonts:/mit/texfonts/ipa:
extend TEXPKS /mit/sipb/share/tex/fonts/pk:

The names of some of the postscript fonts we have are listed below.

Postscript Font Name Name to use in \newfont command (dvips syntax)
AvanteGarde-Book rpagk
AvanteGarde-BookOblique rpagko
AvanteGarde-Demi rpagd
AvanteGarde-DemiOblique rpagdo
Bookman-Demi rpbkd
Bookman-Light rpbkl
Courier rpcrr
Courier-Bold rpcrb
Courier-Oblique rpcrro
Courier-BoldOblique rpcrbo
Helvetica rphvr
Helvetica-Bold rphvb
Helvetic-Oblique rphvro
Helvetica-BoldOblique rphvbo
NewCenturySchlbk-Roman rpncr
NewCenturySchlbk-Italic rpncri
NewCenturySchlbk-Bold rpncb
NewCenturySchlbk-BoldItalic rpncbi
Palatino rpplr
Palatino-Bold rpplb
Palatino-Italic rpplri
Palatino-Oblique rpplro
Times-Roman rptmr
Times-Bold rptmb
Times-Italic rptmri
Times-BoldItalic rptmbi
Zapf Chancery Medium Italic rpzcmi
xdvi is unable to display PostScript fonts, and will substitute the default Computer-Modern in their place.

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Last Modified:

February 25, 2009

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  1. Mar 13, 2015

    The fonts no longer have "r" at the beginning, and are a somewhat different set. The .tfm files are here:


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