CTAN Comprehensive TeX Archive Network

Directory fonts/greek/lfb

Note on distribution:

This is a Greek font I wrote in METAFONT several years ago after being 
inspired by the Bodoni typefaces I had seen in the old books in my school 
library. It is stylistically a little more exotic than the standard 
textbook greek fonts, particularly in glyphs like the lowercase rho and 
kappa. It aims for a rather calligraphic feel, but I also think it blends 
well with Computer Modern.

I included a ligature scheme which automatically inserts the breathings 
required for ancient texts, making the input text more readable than in 
some schemes. Since it is now de rigueur to use outline fonts, I have 
largely abandoned this project, but I hope someone finds it useful.

I'd better give this a version number, say 1.0, although that does give 
a false impression of continuous development, which most certainly is 
not the case. I've put it under the LaTeX Project Public Licence,
of which you can read the latest version at

Laurie Field
laurie [dot] field [at] gmail [dot] com
June 2005



A new greek font for TeX, in regular and bold variants. All classical 
accents and diacritic marks are available and built into the ligature table 
of the font; hence no TeX input file is necessary to use the diacritical 

Simple use in plain TeX:

(sorry, I can't be bothered to make the relevant LaTeX fd files, etc.,
although it wouldn't be hard.) Declare the font you want to use (eg.
\font\greek=lfb10). Then simply switch to that font and start typing.
The conventions for greek input are explained below.


MF: metafont source files, in fairly amateurish code. Run mf on lfb*.mf or 
lfbb*.mf to produce more tfm/pk files.

TFM: ready-made font metric files, for those who can't produce their own.

PK: ready-made bitmap files at 600dpi and standard magnification.

lfbacc.tex: a few TeX definitions for more obscure accent combinations 
(namely, alpha, iota, and upsilon with macron/breve AND accent and/or 
breathing.) These are faked with TeX's accent mechanism, since there is no 
room for them in the font.

example.tex: sample text (to get an idea of the input conventions and of 
the design of the glyphs). Taken from Xenophon's Anabasis, book 2, 
I: 1-9.

example.pdf: my output from example.tex (using pdftex with 600dpi fonts). Because the fonts are bitmapped, it'll look terrible in a pdf viewer so it's best to print it out - or better still, install the metafont files and let your installation produce the correct fonts for your printer setup.

Input conventions:

This font uses yet another greek input mapping, incompatible with existing 
ones. (However, if you wanted to use Ibycus or GreekTeX mappings, for
instance, it would be possible to create VF files to perform the conversion.) 
I personally like this encoding because it is easy to type words in a 
simple transliteration scheme and fewer nonletters are necessary than in 
other schemes. This is done with a complex Metafont ligature table so that 
none of the conversion is done by TeX macros (except when macron/breve are 
necessary with other diacritical marks, as explained before.) The 
advantage of this is that it is quick to process, no TeX input files
are needed, and the input is legible with no backslashes etc.

Ordinary letters are expressed thus:

greek letter        ascii input (lowercase/capital)
alpha               a/A
beta                b/B
gamma               g/G
delta               d/D
epsilon             e/E
zeta                z/Z
eta                 j/J
theta               th or q/TH or Th or Q
iota                i/I   (see below for iota subscript)
kappa               k/K
lambda              l/L
mu                  m/M
nu                  n/N
xi                  x or ks/X or KS or Ks
omikron             o/O
pi                  p/P
rho                 r/R
sigma               s/S
tau                 t/T
upsilon             u/U
phi                 ph or f/PH or Ph or F
khi                 kh or ch or c/KH or Kh or CH or Ch or C
psi                 ps or y/PS or Ps or Y
omega               w/W

Breaking ligatures: The vertical bar character | has been specially defined 
so that it can be placed between any two characters which would otherwise 
be joined; this includes letters like ks for xi (k|s will give kappa sigma) 
and all ligatured diacritical marks (a' gives alpha-acute, a|' gives alpha 
apostrophe). It can also be placed at the beginning of a word to prevent 
the default smooth breathing (useful in all-capital titles) or at the end 
of a word to prevent sigma adopting its final form.

Breathings: Normally a smooth breathing is automatically placed on an 
initial vowel (except rho which is rough by default). Place an h or H 
before a vowel to give it a rough breathing (note that whether you use h 
or H is immaterial to the result; hence Herakles must be input HJraklj=s
or hJraklj=s since Hjraklj=s will give a lowercase eta). The font is 
configured so that accents, breathings etc. automatically shift to the 
second letter of a diphthong unless told otherwise (using |). To force a
smooth breathing (for instance in crasis) use *; hence t*ou'noma for
to` o'noma.
NOTE: Words beginning with a capital which have a diphthong must be entered 
quite clumsily, since the ligature scheme cannot detect an (implicit or 
explicit) breathing character more than one place before the vowel it 
should ligature with. The breathing must be cancelled with | and 
reinserted later with * or h. Hence Eu'boia will insert the breathing 
before the E and you should type |E*u'boia instead. If you wanted a 
capitalised aorist of heuri'skw, you should not type HJu=ron but |Jhu=ron.
(Sorry but at present I can't think of a way to fix this since metafont 
ligature tables are quite rigid and poorly adapted to such obscure 

Accents: Use apostrophe (') for acute, backquote (`) for grave and equals 
sign (=) for circumflex. Insert these after the vowel.

Diaeresis: Use double quotes (") immediately before the vowel. You can also 
put it directly after the vowel (before any accents) but this doesn't work
at the beginnings of words which look (to the computer) like they start with 
diphthongs, since the ligature table tries to put a smooth breathing on 
the second vowel before it sees the diaeresis, and there is no way to 
bring the breathing back; hence you must use e"u'thronos, not eu"'thronos.
(e|u"'thronos would work but is ugly.)

Iota subscript: Use a slash (/) after the vowel and accents. (This is 
implemented, as in Ibycus, as a character kerned underneath rather than 
separately generated characters to save space; thus if it comes directly 
after the vowel it will stop subsequent accents from ligaturing.)

Macron and breve: Use colon (:) for macron and plus sign (+) for breve, in 
the same place as you would put the accent. They can be put on any vowel, 
even epsilon, eta, omikron and omega; perhaps this would be useful for 
metrical reasons. All the same, I don't anticipate them being used very 
often, and if you need to combine them with another accent or breathing or 
both, you need to use TeX's accent mechanism, since I couldn't fit the 
extra characters in the font (and even if I could, it would be boring to 
add the extra code necessary). There is a small file included, lfbacc.tex, 
which contains a few definitions:
  \smo  smooth breathing              \rou  rough breathing
  \acu  acute                         \gra  grave
  \sma  smooth acute                  \smg  smooth grave
  \roa  rough acute                   \rog  rough grave
combined with any of:
  \sha  alpha breve                   \lga  alpha macron
  \shi  iota breve                    \lgi  iota macron
  \shu  upsilon breve                 \lgu  upsilon macron
will give a shaky rendition of these combinations. I realize this is 
incredibly clumsy but it's not too bad for odds and ends; they are rarely 
used in Greek texts anyway, so it shouldn't be too big a limitation. (There 
would be other ways around this but, again, it's not worth the effort.)

Punctuation marks: Use comma (,) and full stop (.) normally. A question 
mark (?) gives a Greek question mark which looks like an English 
semicolon; an ascii semicolon (;) gives the Greek equivalent which is like a 
full stop but above the line. Don't use colon (:), as this is used for 
macrons on vowels. I've also included some others for convenience: 
apostrophe (') and backquote (`) when not ligatured to vowels will give the 
traditional punctuation marks; two put together give open and close 
quotation marks, as in plain TeX. Hyphen (-) is available, and two together 
give an em-dash; I haven't included an en-dash (you can get it from 
Computer Modern if really necessary.) There are also very crude 
parentheses ( ( and ) ) and brackets ( [ and ] ) but again, you're better 
off borrowing the better-looking ones from Computer Modern.

Future wish list:
- digamma, koppa and other rare characters
- angle brackets, dagger and dots under letters
- a better mechanism for macron/breve with other diacritics
- fix capitalised diphthong with breathing problem

Have fun
- Laurie Field, April 2001

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (263.3k).

lfb – A Greek font with normal and bold variants

This is a Greek font written in , with inspiration from the Bodoni typefaces in old books. It is stylistically a little more exotic than the standard textbook Greek fonts, particularly in glyphs like the lowercase rho and kappa. It aims for a rather calligraphic feel, but seems to blend well with Computer Modern.

There is a ligature scheme which automatically inserts the breathings required for ancient texts, making the input text more readable than in some schemes.

LicensesThe Project Public License
MaintainerLaurie Field
Contained inTeX Live as lfb
MiKTeX as lfb
TopicsGreek Font
MF Font
Guest Book Sitemap Contact Contact Author