autoinst man page

autoinst — wrapper around the LCDF TypeTools, for installing OpenType fonts in LaTeX.


autoinst [options] fontfile(s)


Eddie Kohler's LCDF TypeTools are superb tools for installing  OpenType fonts in LaTeX, but they can be hard to use:  they need many, often long, command lines  and don't generate the fd and sty files LaTeX needs. autoinst simplifies the use of the TypeTools for font installation by generating and executing all commands for otftotfm and by creating and installing all necessary fd and sty files.

Given a family of font files (in otf or ttf format), autoinst will create several LaTeX font families:

  • Four text families (with lining and oldstyle digits, in both tabular and proportional variants), each with the following shapes:


    Roman text

    it, sl

    Italic and slanted (sometimes called oblique) text


    Small caps




    Titling shape. Meant for all-caps text only (even though it sometimes contains lowercase glyphs as well), where letterspacing and the positioning of punctuation characters have been adjusted to suit all-caps text. (This shape is only generated for the families with lining digits,  since old-style digits make no sense with all-caps text.)

    scit, scsl

    Italic and slanted small caps


    "Upright swash"; usually normal text with "oldstyle" ligatures such as ct, sp and st.

    tlit, tlsl

    Italic and slanted titling text

  • For each text family: a family of TS1-encoded symbol fonts, in roman, italic and slanted shapes.
  • Four families with superiors, inferiors, numerators and denominators, in roman, italic and slanted shapes.
  • An ornament family, in roman, italic and slanted shapes.

Of course, if the fonts don't contain italics, oldstyle digits, small caps  etc., the corresponding shapes and families are not created. Furthermore, the creation of most families and shapes can be controlled by command-line options (see "Command-Line Options" below).

These families use the FontPro project's naming scheme:  <FontFamily>-<Suffix>, where <Suffix> is:


proportional (i.e., figures have varying widths) lining figures


tabular (i.e., all figures have the same width) lining figures


proportional oldstyle figures


tabular oldstyle figures


superior characters (many fonts have only an incomplete set of superior characters: digits, some punctuation and the letters abdeilmnorst; normal forms are used for other characters)


inferior characters; usually only digits and some punctuation, normal forms for other characters







The generated fonts are named <FontName>-<suffix>-<shape>-<enc>, where <suffix> is the same as above (but in lowercase), <shape> is either empty, "sc", "swash" or "titling", and <enc> is the encoding. A typical name in this scheme is "LinLibertineO-osf-sc-ly1".

On the choice of text encoding

By default, autoinst generates text fonts with OT1, T1 and LY1 encodings, and the generated style files use LY1 as the default text encoding. LY1 has been chosen over T1 because it has some empty slots to accomodate the additional ligatures provided by many OpenType fonts. Different encodings can be chosen using the -encoding command-line option  (see "Command-Line Options" below).

Using the fonts in your LaTeX documents

autoinst generates a style file for using the font in LaTeX documents, named <FontFamily>.sty. This style file also takes care of loading the fontenc and textcomp packages. To use the font, simply put "\usepackage{<FontFamily>}" in the preamble of your document.

This style file defines a number of options:

"lining", "oldstyle", "tabular", "proportional"

Choose which figure style to use.  The defaults are "oldstyle" and "proportional" (if available).


Scale the font by a factor of <number>. For example: to increase the size of the font by 5%, use  "\usepackage[scale=1.05]{<FontFamily>}".  May also be spelled "scaled".

This option is only available when you have the xkeyval package installed.

"ultrablack", "ultrabold", "heavy", "extrablack", "black", "extrabold", "demibold", "semibold", "bold"

Choose the weight that LaTeX will use for the "bold" weight.

"light", "medium", "regular"

Choose the weight that LaTeX will use for the "regular" weight.

These last two groups of options will only work if you have the mweights package installed.

The style file will also try to load the fontaxes package  (available on CTAN), which gives easy access to various font shapes and styles. Using the machinery set up by fontaxes, the generated style file  defines a number of commands (which take the text to be typeset as argument) and declarations (which don't take arguments, but affect all text up to the end of the current group) of its own:


    \tlshape        \texttitling    \texttl
    \sufigures      \textsuperior   \textsu
    \infigures      \textinferior   \textin

In addition, the "\swshape" and "\textsw" commands are redefined to place swash on the secondary shape axis (fontaxes places it on the primary shape axis); this makes these commands behave properly when nested, so that "\swshape\upshape" will give upright swash.

There are no commands for accessing the numerator and denominator fonts; these can be selected using fontaxes' standard commands, e.g., "\fontfigurestyle{numerator}\selectfont".

The style file also provides a command "\ornament{<number>}", where "<number>" is a number from 0 to the total number of ornaments minus one. Ornaments are always typeset using the current family, series and shape. A list of all ornaments in a font can be created by running LaTeX on the file nfssfont.tex (part of a standard LaTeX installation) and supplying the name of the ornament font.

To access the ornaments, autoinst creates a font-specific encoding file <FontFamily>_orn.enc,  but only if that file doesn't yet exist in the current directory. This is a deliberate feature that allows you to provide your own encoding vector, e.g. if your fonts use non-standard glyph names for ornaments.

These commands are only generated for existing shapes and number styles; no commands are generated for shapes and styles that don't exist,  or whose generation has been turned off using command-line options. Also: these commands are built on top of fontaxes; if that package cannot be found, you're limited to using the lower-level commands from standard NFSS ("\fontfamily", "\fontseries", "\fontshape" etc.).

Using multiple font families in one document

Style files generated by versions of autoinst older dan 2013-07-25 redefined "\mddefault" and "\bfdefault", whereas newer style files  use the mweights package instead.  If you use multiple autoinst-generated font familes in the same document,  it is best if all style files are generated by the same version of  autoinst; re-generate the older families if necessary.

NFSS codes

NFSS identifies fonts by a combination of family, series (weight plus width), shape and size. autoinst parses the output of "otfinfo --info" to determine these parameters. When this fails (e.g., because the font family contains uncommon widths or weights), autoinst ends up with different fonts having the same values for these font parameters, which means that these fonts cannot be used in NFSS. In that case, autoinst will split the font family into multiple subfamilies (based on each font file's "Subfamily" value) and try again. (Since many font vendors misunderstand the "Subfamily" concept and make each font file its own separate subfamily, this strategy is only used as a last resort.)

If such a proliferation of font families is unwanted, either run autoinst on a smaller set of fonts or  add the missing widths, weights and shapes to the tables %FD_WIDTH, %FD_WEIGHT and %FD_SHAPE, at the top of the source code. Please also send a bug report (see Author below).

autoinst maps widths, weights and shapes to NFSS codes using the following tables. These are based as much as possible on the standard Fontname scheme and Philipp Lehman's  Font Installation Guide,  but some changes were made to avoid name clashes in font families  with many widths and weights.

    WEIGHT                              WIDTH

    Thin           t                    Ultra Compressed    up
    Ultra Light    ul                   Extra Compressed    ep
    Extra Light    el                   Compressed          p
    Light          l                    Compact             p
    Book                 [1]            Ultra Condensed     uc
    Regular              [1]            Extra Condensed     ec
    Medium         mb                   Condensed           c
    Demibold       db                   Narrow              n
    Semibold       sb                   Semicondensed       sc
    Bold           b                    Regular                 [1]
    Extra Bold     eb                   Semiextended        sx
    Ultra          ub                   Extended            x
    Ultra Bold     ub                   Expanded            e
    Black          k                    Wide                w
    Extra Black    ek
    Ultra Black    uk
    Heavy          h                    SHAPE
    Poster         r
                                        Roman, Upright      n   [2]
                                        Italic              it
                                        Cursive, Kursiv     it
                                        Oblique             sl  [3]
                                        Slanted             sl  [3]
                                        Incline(d)          sl  [3]



When both weight and width are empty, the "series" attribute becomes "m".


Adobe Silentium Pro contains two "Roman" shapes ("RomanI" and "RomanII"); the first of these is mapped to "n", the second one to "it".


New in release 2014-01-21; before that, slanted fonts were mapped to "it".

A note for MiKTeX users

Automatically installing the fonts into a suitable TEXMF tree (as autoinst does by default) requires a TeX-installation that uses the kpathsea library; with TeX distributions that implement their own directory searching (such as MiKTeX), autoinst will complain that it cannot find the kpsewhich program and install all generated files into subdirectories of the current directory. If you use such a TeX distribution, you should either move these files to their correct destinations by hand, or use the -target option (see "Command-Line Options" below) to specify a TEXMF tree.

Also, some OpenType fonts may lead to pl and vpl files that are too big for MiKTeX's pltotf and vptovf; the versions that come with W32TeX ( and TeXLive ( don't have this problem.

Command-Line Options

autoinst tries hard to do The Right Thing (TM) by default,  so in many cases you won't need these options; but most aspects of its operation can be changed if you want to.

You may use either one or two dashes before options, and option names may be shortened to a unique prefix (e.g., -encoding may be abbreviated to -enc or even -en, but -e is ambiguous (-encoding, -extra).


Don't actually generate any fonts and files, only create a logfile showing which fonts would be generated.  By default, this information is written to autoinst.log; use the -logfile option to specify a different filename.


Generate the specified encoding(s) for the text fonts. The default is "OT1,T1,LY1". For each encoding, a file <encoding>.enc (lowercase) should be somewhere where otftotfm can find it. Suitable encoding files for OT1, T1/TS1 and LY1 come with autoinst. (These files are called fontools_ot1.enc etc. to avoid name clashes with other packages; the "fontools_" prefix may be omitted.)

Multiple text encodings can be specified as a comma-separated list: "-encoding=OT1,T1". The encodings are passed to fontenc in the order specified, so the last one will be the default text encoding.

-ts1 / -nots1

Control the creation of TS1-encoded fonts. The default is -ts1 if the text encodings (see -encoding above) include T1, -nots1 otherwise.


Install the font as a sanserif font, accessed via "\sffamily" and "\textsf". The generated style file redefines "\familydefault", so including it will still make this font the default text font.


Install the font as a typewriter font, accessed via "\ttfamily" and "\texttt". The generated style file redefines "\familydefault", so including it will still make this font the default text font.

-lining / -nolining

Control the creation of fonts with lining figures. The default is -lining.

-oldstyle / -nooldstyle

Control the creation of fonts with oldstyle figures. The default is -oldstyle.

-proportional / -noproportional

Control the creation of fonts with proportional figures. The default is -proportional.

-tabular / -notabular

Control the creation of fonts with tabular figures. The default is -tabular.

-smallcaps / -nosmallcaps

Control the creation of small caps fonts. The default is -smallcaps.

-swash / -noswash

Control the creation of swash fonts. The default is -swash.

-titling / -notitling

Control the creation of titling fonts. The default is -titling.

-superiors / -nosuperiors

Control the creation of fonts with superior characters. The default is -superiors.

-inferiors / -noinferiors

Control the creation of fonts with inferior digits. The default is -noinferiors.

-fractions / -nofractions

Control the creation of fonts with numerators and denominators. The default is -nofractions.

-ornaments / -noornaments

Control the creation of ornament fonts. The default is -ornaments.


Verbose mode; print detailed information about which fonts autoinst  is generating. By default, this information is written to autoinst.log; a different filename can be specified using the -logfile option. Repeat this option for even more detailed information.


Write the logging information to LOGFILE instead of autoinst.log.

-defaultlining / -defaultoldstyle
-defaulttabular / -defaultproportional

Tell autoinst which figure style is the current font family's default (i.e., which figures you get when you don't specify any OpenType features).

Don't use these options unless you are certain you need them! They are only needed for fonts that don't provide OpenType features  for their default figure style; and even in that case,  the default values (-defaultlining and -defaulttabular)  are usually correct.

-figurekern / -nofigurekern

Some fonts provide kerning pairs for tabular figures. This is very probably not what you want  (e.g., numbers in tables won't line up exactly). The option -nofigurekern adds extra --ligkern options to the commands for otftotfm to suppress such kerns (but of course only for the families with tabular figures). Since this leads to very long commands (one hundred such options in total!) and the problem only occurs in very few fonts,  the default is -figurekern.


Add text to the command line to otftotfm. To prevent text from  accidentily being interpreted as options to autoinst, it should be  properly quoted.


Manual mode. By default, autoinst executes all otftotfm commands it generates; with the -manual option, these commands are instead written to a file autoinst.bat. Also, the generated otftotfm commands specify the --pl option (which tells otftotfm to generate human readable/editable pl  and vpl files instead of the default tfm and vf files) and omit the --automatic option (which causes otftotfm to leave all generated files in the current directory, rather than install them into your TEXMF tree).

When using this option, you should run pltotf and vptovf after executing all commands, to convert the pl and vf files to tfm and vf format.

The following options are only meaningful in automatic mode, and hence ignored in manual mode:


Install all generated files into the TEXMF tree at DIRECTORY.

By default, autoinst searches your $TEXMFLOCAL and $TEXMFHOME paths and installs all files into subdirectories of the first writable TEXMF tree it finds (or into subdirectories of the current directory, if no writable directory is found).


These options are equivalent to otftotfm's --vendor and --typeface options: they change the "vendor" and "typeface" parts of the names of the subdirectories in the TEXMF tree where generated files will be stored. The default values are "lcdftools" and the font's FontFamily name.

Note that these options change only directory names, not the names of any generated files.

-updmap / -noupdmap

Control whether or not updmap is called after the last call to otftotfm. The default is -updmap.

See Also

Eddie Kohler's TypeTools (

Perl can be downloaded from; it is  pre-installed on many Linux distributions. For Windows, try ActivePerl ( or Strawberry Perl (

The FontPro project ( offers very complete LaTeX support for Adobe's Minion Pro and Myriad Pro (including math), and is currently working on Cronos Pro.

XeTeX ( and LuaTeX ( are TeX engines that can use fonts in many formats  (including both flavours of OpenType) without TeX-specific support files.

John Owens' otfinst (available from CTAN) is another wrapper around otftotfm.


Marc Penninga <>

When sending a bug report, please give as much relevant information as possible; this includes at least (but may not be limited to) the output from running autoinst with the -verbose option. Please include all (if any) error messages as well.


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. A copy of the text of the GNU General Public License is included in  the fontools distribution; see the file GPLv2.txt.


This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Recent Changes

(See the source code for the rest of the story.)


Bugfix: Latex doesn't like command names with dashes in it.


Fixed an error message that mixed up width and weight.


Fixed a bug in the font info parsing code.


"Oblique" or "slanted" fonts are now mapped to NFSS code "sl" instead  of "it"; added "ssub" rules to the <fd> files to substitute slanted fonts for italic ones if the latter are missing. Fixed a few bugs.


Added the -dryrun and -logfile options; changed which info is logged. Added the -lining, -oldstyle, -tabular and -proportional  options; the old options with those names have been renamed to  -defaultlining, -defaultoldstyle etc.


2015-11-22 fontools Marc Penninga