PostScript and PDF Font Families


These functions handle the translation of a R graphics font family name to a PostScript or PDF font description, used by the postscript or pdf graphics devices.





either character strings naming mappings to display, or named arguments specifying mappings to add or change.


If these functions are called with no argument they list all the existing mappings, whereas if they are called with named arguments they add (or change) mappings.

A PostScript or PDF device is created with a default font family (see the documentation for postscript), but it is also possible to specify a font family when drawing to the device (for example, see the documentation for "family" in par and for "fontfamily" in gpar in the grid package).

The font family sent to the device is a simple string name, which must be mapped to a set of PostScript fonts. Separate lists of mappings for postscript and pdf devices are maintained for the current R session and can be added to by the user.

The postscriptFonts and pdfFonts functions can be used to list existing mappings and to define new mappings. The Type1Font and CIDFont functions can be used to create new mappings, when the xxxFonts function is used to add them to the database. See the examples.

Default mappings are provided for three device-independent family names: "sans" for a sans-serif font (to "Helvetica"), "serif" for a serif font (to "Times") and "mono" for a monospaced font (to "Courier").

Mappings for a number of standard Adobe fonts (and URW equivalents) are also provided: "AvantGarde", "Bookman", "Courier", "Helvetica", "Helvetica-Narrow", "NewCenturySchoolbook", "Palatino" and "Times"; "URWGothic", "URWBookman", "NimbusMon", "NimbusSan" (synonym "URWHelvetica"), "NimbusSanCond", "CenturySch", "URWPalladio" and "NimbusRom" (synonym "URWTimes").

There are also mappings for "ComputerModern", "ComputerModernItalic" and, as from R 3.1.0, "ArialMT" (Monotype Arial).

Finally, there are some default mappings for East Asian locales described in a separate section.

The specification of font metrics and encodings is described in the help for the postscript function.

The fonts are not embedded in the resulting PostScript or PDF file, so software including the PostScript or PDF plot file should either embed the font outlines (usually from ‘.pfb’ or ‘.pfa’ files) or use DSC comments to instruct the print spooler or including application to do so (see also embedFonts).

A font family has both an R-level name, the argument name used when postscriptFonts was called, and an internal name, the family component. These two names are the same for all the pre-defined font families.

Once a font family is in use it cannot be changed. ‘In use’ means that it has been specified via a family or fonts argument to an invocation of the same graphics device already in the R session. (For these purposes xfig counts the same as postscript but only uses some of the predefined mappings.)


A list of one or more font mappings.

East Asian fonts

There are some default mappings for East Asian locales:
"Japan1", "Japan1HeiMin", "Japan1GothicBBB", and "Japan1Ryumin" for Japanese; "Korea1" and "Korea1deb" for Korean; "GB1" (Simplified Chinese) for mainland China and Singapore; "CNS1" (Traditional Chinese) for Hong Kong and Taiwan.

These refer to the following fonts

Japan1 (PS) HeiseiKakuGo-W5
Linotype Japanese printer font
Japan1 (PDF) KozMinPro-Regular-Acro
from Adobe Reader 7.0 Japanese Font Pack
Japan1HeiMin (PS) HeiseiMin-W3
Linotype Japanese printer font
Japan1HeiMin (PDF) HeiseiMin-W3-Acro
from Adobe Reader 7.0 Japanese Font Pack
Japan1GothicBBB GothicBBB-Medium
Japanese-market PostScript printer font
Japan1Ryumin Ryumin-Light
Japanese-market PostScript printer font
Korea1 (PS) Baekmuk-Batang
TrueType font found on some Linux systems
Korea1 (PDF) HYSMyeongJoStd-Medium-Acro
from Adobe Reader 7.0 Korean Font Pack
Korea1deb (PS) Batang-Regular
another name for Baekmuk-Batang
Korea1deb (PDF) HYGothic-Medium-Acro
from Adobe Reader 4.0 Korean Font Pack
GB1 (PS) BousungEG-Light-GB
TrueType font found on some Linux systems
GB1 (PDF) STSong-Light-Acro
from Adobe Reader 7.0 Simplified Chinese Font Pack
CNS1 (PS) MOESung-Regular
Ken Lunde's CJKV resources
CNS1 (PDF) MSungStd-Light-Acro
from Adobe Reader 7.0 Traditional Chinese Font Pack

BousungEG-Light-GB can be found at Ken Lunde's CJKV resources are at These will need to be installed or otherwise made available to the postscript/PDF interpreter such as ghostscript (and not all interpreters can handle TrueType fonts).

You may well find that your postscript/PDF interpreters has been set up to provide aliases for many of these fonts. For example, ghostscript on Windows can optionally be installed to map common East Asian fonts names to Windows TrueType fonts. (You may want to add the -Acro versions as well.)

Adding a mapping for a CID-keyed font is for gurus only.


Support for Computer Modern fonts is based on a contribution by Brian D'Urso.

See Also

postscript and pdf; Type1Font and CIDFont for specifying new font mappings.


## This duplicates "ComputerModernItalic".
CMitalic <- Type1Font("ComputerModern2",
                      c("CM_regular_10.afm", "CM_boldx_10.afm",
                        "cmti10.afm", "cmbxti10.afm",
                      encoding = "TeXtext.enc")
postscriptFonts(CMitalic = CMitalic)

## A CID font for Japanese using a different CMap and
## corresponding cmapEncoding.
`Jp_UCS-2` <- CIDFont("TestUCS2",
                  "UniJIS-UCS2-H", "UCS-2")
pdfFonts(`Jp_UCS-2` = `Jp_UCS-2`)

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