Many fonts come with several variants that can be accessed from most OS X applications. Here's an example showing several variants of the Latin Modern Roman font.

enter image description here

(These variants in the screenshot are all displayed at 11 pt size, but their shapes/weights are designed to be used at the indicated sizes; hence the names "10 Regular", etc.)

You don't have to install a special font to try this though. Many fonts that come with the OS, such as Helvetica Neue on OS X, have them.

Using Format -> Show Fonts in Mathematica brings up a window where these variants can be chosen. But choosing them has no effect.

Question: Is it at all possible to use these variants in Mathematica 10.3?

I am primarily interested in OS X, but answers for other operating systems are welcome too.

  • $\begingroup$ Why not to add OSX tag? $\endgroup$
    – garej
    Feb 24, 2016 at 10:38
  • $\begingroup$ @garej I didn't add the tag because eventually I would want to ask the same about other systems too, so I'm interested in Windows/Linux answers as well. I don't know if these should be separate from the OS X one. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 24, 2016 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


At present you cannot get these font variants on OS X because the FontWeight option only chooses between Regular and Bold. This is a somewhat historical artifact from a time when only four font variants (Normal, Bold, Italic, and Bold Italic) needed to be resolved.

There is an additional issue that the PrivateFontOptions option "FontPostScriptName" does not work as intended on OS X.

We consider both of these issues to be bugs.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Can we get these variants on Windows, or maybe Linux? (I'm using OS X right now so I cannot try, but I am curious.) $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 24, 2016 at 18:59
  • $\begingroup$ Seeing that you work on the FE, maybe you can answer this: are the developers aware of the practical issues that coordinate rounding causes with PDF export, and how the elements of the exported graphics can be positioned quite differently in the PDF than what I saw in the notebook? This is constantly giving me trouble when I make figures (especially when using the SciDraw package for complex figures). Unfortunately it is quite difficult to create small examples that illustrate the problems well, and even harder to show why this is such a big deal during practical work. I assume you are ... $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ ... aware of the problems, but if not, maybe one day I should put in the time to write a convincing letter to support about this. Here's one example of the rounding problems. Trouble comes in cases when using Export won't make rounding go away ... (usually with lots of Insets, typical of SciDraw output). $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 24, 2016 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ To the best of my knowledge FontWeight option works better on Windows and Linux. You should be able to access the variants on that platform. $\endgroup$ Feb 25, 2016 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, it wasn't obvious that one must use FontWeight. I'll try. $\endgroup$
    – Szabolcs
    Feb 25, 2016 at 16:07

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