Computer Modern

Computer Modern is a technology developed by Donald E. Knuth for TeX Font Family. Computer Modern is written in Metafont and freely available in source code. The Computer Modern fonts can be freely used and further developed, as long as the original name of the Knuth 's implementation to be used.


The Computer Modern has three font families:

  • Computer Modern Roman: A classical Antiqua, inspired by the Monotype Modern 8A. The Roman family is very well developed with italic, bold roman, bold, italic and small caps.
  • Computer Modern Sans Serif: one based on the forms of the Roman grotesque, which was designed by Richard Southall.
  • Computer Modern Typewriter: a matching in the forms for the novel disproportionate.

There are also some special shapes, as well as two families with mathematical symbols ( including Greek letters).

The individual typefaces are available in a wide range of design sizes. This distinguishes them from many digitized fonts, which are only offered in a single size and design to be scaled linearly otherwise.

The special feature of the Computer Modern is that it is programmed not only in Metafont, but also the Metaness exploits strong. This means that one and the same program, depending on the parameters produces very different forms of a Letter.

From the Metafont sources optimal bitmaps can be calculated for each output device. Meanwhile, the Computer Modern fonts are also in Type 1 format.

History, developments

Precursor of the Computer Modern fonts were the fonts ( either as American Modern or later read as Almost Modern), which were implemented by Donald Knuth in METAFONT 78, the precursor of METAFONT.

From the Computer Modern fonts, there are various developments, on the one hand new typefaces from the sources were derived, on the other hand, the character set has been expanded.

Other typefaces

  • Concrete fonts: a slab serif, designed by Donald Knuth for the book Concrete Mathematics.
  • Ecbright: an improved sans-serif typeface, designed by Walter Schmidt - first as cmbright with the character set of the cm fonts, later extended to the Cork encoding.

Extended character set

  • AMS symbols: two families with 128 characters with additional mathematical symbols
  • Lh- fonts: extension for the Cyrillic alphabet
  • Cbgreek: Extension for the Greek script (with all antique accents )
  • Ec fonts: extension for almost all European languages ​​with Latin script
  • Fc- fonts: extension for African languages ​​with Latin script
  • LaTeX symbols: 11 more math symbols for LaTeX
  • Tipa: International Phonetic Alphabet