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Matlab-Latex interface

Posted By Yair Altman On June 5, 2013 | __14 Comments__

*I would like to welcome guest blogger Yaroslav Don ^{[1]}, known to vim users as the author of the Matlab color-scheme ^{[2]}. Today Yaroslav discusses some little-known aspects of Matlab’s support for Latex.*

One of the most appealing aspects of Matlab is the cross-talk with other programs via a friendly user-interface. An excellent example is the Latex interpreter inside the Handle-graphics axes and texts, which comes to a good use to many inside the scientific community. In recent years I’ve noticed a slow but steady tendency of degrading the Latex capabilities inside Matlab. The most apparent example is the decreasing fonts; I’ll show its downward progression below:

When I started using Latex in Matlab, I wrote a small script (*latexfonts.m* ^{[3]}) to check the available Latex options in Matlab. In the figure below several attributes are depicted: font-families (roman, sans-serif and typewriter), font-shapes (upright, slanted, italics and small-caps) and font-series (medium and bold). It also shows other tweaks such as kerning, ligatures, underline, etc.

It is clearly seen that most of the Latex options above are available. Analyzing further, the list of fonts inside Matlab is quite vast, as seen below:

```
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','fonts','ttf','cm'))
. cmbxsl10.ttf cmmi12.ttf cmr7.ttf cmssi12.ttf cmti10.ttf eufb5.ttf eurb9.ttf eusm7.ttf
.. cmbxti10.ttf cmmi5.ttf cmr8.ttf cmssi17.ttf cmti12.ttf eufb6.ttf eurm10.ttf eusm8.ttf
README cmcsc10.ttf cmmi6.ttf cmr9.ttf cmssi8.ttf cmti7.ttf eufb7.ttf eurm5.ttf eusm9.ttf
cmb10.ttf cmcsc8.ttf cmmi7.ttf cmsl10.ttf cmssi9.ttf cmti8.ttf eufb8.ttf eurm6.ttf msam10.ttf
cmbsy10.ttf cmcsc9.ttf cmmi8.ttf cmsl12.ttf cmssq8.ttf cmti9.ttf eufb9.ttf eurm7.ttf msam5.ttf
cmbsy6.ttf cmdunh10.ttf cmmi9.ttf cmsl8.ttf cmssqi8.ttf cmtt10.ttf eufm10.ttf eurm8.ttf msam6.ttf
cmbsy7.ttf cmex10.ttf cmmib10.ttf cmsl9.ttf cmsy10.ttf cmtt12.ttf eufm5.ttf eurm9.ttf msam7.ttf
cmbsy8.ttf cmex7.ttf cmmib6.ttf cmsltt10.ttf cmsy5.ttf cmtt8.ttf eufm6.ttf eusb10.ttf msam8.ttf
cmbsy9.ttf cmex8.ttf cmmib7.ttf cmss10.ttf cmsy6.ttf cmtt9.ttf eufm7.ttf eusb5.ttf msam9.ttf
cmbx10.ttf cmex9.ttf cmmib8.ttf cmss12.ttf cmsy7.ttf cmu10.ttf eufm8.ttf eusb6.ttf msbm10.ttf
cmbx12.ttf cmff10.ttf cmmib9.ttf cmss17.ttf cmsy8.ttf cmvtt10.ttf eufm9.ttf eusb7.ttf msbm5.ttf
cmbx5.ttf cmfi10.ttf cmr10.ttf cmss8.ttf cmsy9.ttf euex10.ttf eurb10.ttf eusb8.ttf msbm6.ttf
cmbx6.ttf cmfib8.ttf cmr12.ttf cmss9.ttf cmtcsc10.ttf euex7.ttf eurb5.ttf eusb9.ttf msbm7.ttf
cmbx7.ttf cminch.ttf cmr17.ttf cmssbx10.ttf cmtex10.ttf euex8.ttf eurb6.ttf eusm10.ttf msbm8.ttf
cmbx8.ttf cmitt10.ttf cmr5.ttf cmssdc10.ttf cmtex8.ttf euex9.ttf eurb7.ttf eusm5.ttf msbm9.ttf
cmbx9.ttf cmmi10.ttf cmr6.ttf cmssi10.ttf cmtex9.ttf eufb10.ttf eurb8.ttf eusm6.ttf
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','fonts','type1','cm'))
. cmbxsl10.pfm cmmi12.pfm cmr6.pfm cmss17.pfm cmssqi8.pfm cmti10.pfm lasy10.pfm lcmssi8.pfm
.. cmbxti10.pfb cmmi5.pfb cmr7.pfb cmss8.pfb cmsy10.pfb cmti12.pfb lasy5.pfb line10.pfb
README cmbxti10.pfm cmmi5.pfm cmr7.pfm cmss8.pfm cmsy10.pfm cmti12.pfm lasy5.pfm line10.pfm
cmb10.pfb cmcsc10.pfb cmmi6.pfb cmr8.pfb cmss9.pfb cmsy5.pfb cmti7.pfb lasy6.pfb linew10.pfb
cmb10.pfm cmcsc10.pfm cmmi6.pfm cmr8.pfm cmss9.pfm cmsy5.pfm cmti7.pfm lasy6.pfm linew10.pfm
cmbsy10.pfb cmdunh10.pfb cmmi7.pfb cmr9.pfb cmssbx10.pfb cmsy6.pfb cmti8.pfb lasy7.pfb logo10.pfb
cmbsy10.pfm cmdunh10.pfm cmmi7.pfm cmr9.pfm cmssbx10.pfm cmsy6.pfm cmti8.pfm lasy7.pfm logo10.pfm
cmbx10.pfb cmex10.pfb cmmi8.pfb cmsl10.pfb cmssdc10.pfb cmsy7.pfb cmti9.pfb lasy8.pfb logo8.pfb
cmbx10.pfm cmex10.pfm cmmi8.pfm cmsl10.pfm cmssdc10.pfm cmsy7.pfm cmti9.pfm lasy8.pfm logo8.pfm
cmbx12.pfb cmff10.pfb cmmi9.pfb cmsl12.pfb cmssi10.pfb cmsy8.pfb cmtt10.pfb lasy9.pfb logo9.pfb
cmbx12.pfm cmff10.pfm cmmi9.pfm cmsl12.pfm cmssi10.pfm cmsy8.pfm cmtt10.pfm lasy9.pfm logo9.pfm
cmbx5.pfb cmfi10.pfb cmmib10.pfb cmsl8.pfb cmssi12.pfb cmsy9.pfb cmtt12.pfb lasyb10.pfb logobf10.pfb
cmbx5.pfm cmfi10.pfm cmmib10.pfm cmsl8.pfm cmssi12.pfm cmsy9.pfm cmtt12.pfm lasyb10.pfm logobf10.pfm
cmbx6.pfb cmfib8.pfb cmr10.pfb cmsl9.pfb cmssi17.pfb cmtcsc10.pfb cmtt8.pfb lcircle1.pfb logosl10.pfb
cmbx6.pfm cmfib8.pfm cmr10.pfm cmsl9.pfm cmssi17.pfm cmtcsc10.pfm cmtt8.pfm lcircle1.pfm logosl10.pfm
cmbx7.pfb cminch.pfb cmr12.pfb cmsltt10.pfb cmssi8.pfb cmtex10.pfb cmtt9.pfb lcirclew.pfb
cmbx7.pfm cminch.pfm cmr12.pfm cmsltt10.pfm cmssi8.pfm cmtex10.pfm cmtt9.pfm lcirclew.pfm
cmbx8.pfb cmitt10.pfb cmr17.pfb cmss10.pfb cmssi9.pfb cmtex8.pfb cmu10.pfb lcmss8.pfb
cmbx8.pfm cmitt10.pfm cmr17.pfm cmss10.pfm cmssi9.pfm cmtex8.pfm cmu10.pfm lcmss8.pfm
cmbx9.pfb cmmi10.pfb cmr5.pfb cmss12.pfb cmssq8.pfb cmtex9.pfb cmvtt10.pfb lcmssb8.pfb
cmbx9.pfm cmmi10.pfm cmr5.pfm cmss12.pfm cmssq8.pfm cmtex9.pfm cmvtt10.pfm lcmssb8.pfm
cmbxsl10.pfb cmmi12.pfb cmr6.pfb cmss17.pfb cmssqi8.pfb cmti10.pfb lasy10.pfb lcmssi8.pfb
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','tex','tfm'))
. cmbxsl10.tfm cmmi12.tfm cmr6.tfm cmssdc10.tfm cmtex8.tfm icmmi8.tfm lcmss8.tfm
.. cmbxti10.tfm cmmi5.tfm cmr7.tfm cmssi10.tfm cmtex9.tfm icmsy8.tfm lcmssb8.tfm
cmb10.tfm cmcsc10.tfm cmmi6.tfm cmr8.tfm cmssi12.tfm cmti10.tfm icmtt8.tfm lcmssi8.tfm
cmbsy10.tfm cmcsc8.tfm cmmi7.tfm cmr9.tfm cmssi17.tfm cmti12.tfm ilasy8.tfm line10.tfm
cmbsy5.tfm cmcsc9.tfm cmmi8.tfm cmsa10.tfm cmssi8.tfm cmti7.tfm ilcmss8.tfm linew10.tfm
cmbsy6.tfm cmdunh10.tfm cmmi9.tfm cmsl10.tfm cmssi9.tfm cmti8.tfm ilcmssb8.tfm manfnt.tfm
cmbsy7.tfm cmex10.tfm cmmib10.tfm cmsl12.tfm cmssq8.tfm cmti9.tfm ilcmssi8.tfm old_manfnt.tfm
cmbsy8.tfm cmex7.tfm cmmib5.tfm cmsl8.tfm cmssqi8.tfm cmtt10.tfm lasy10.tfm trip.tfm
cmbsy9.tfm cmex8.tfm cmmib6.tfm cmsl9.tfm cmsy10.tfm cmtt12.tfm lasy5.tfm
cmbx10.tfm cmex9.tfm cmmib7.tfm cmsltt10.tfm cmsy5.tfm cmtt8.tfm lasy6.tfm
cmbx12.tfm cmff10.tfm cmmib8.tfm cmss10.tfm cmsy6.tfm cmtt9.tfm lasy7.tfm
cmbx5.tfm cmfi10.tfm cmmib9.tfm cmss12.tfm cmsy7.tfm cmu10.tfm lasy8.tfm
cmbx6.tfm cmfib8.tfm cmr10.tfm cmss17.tfm cmsy8.tfm cmvtt10.tfm lasy9.tfm
cmbx7.tfm cminch.tfm cmr12.tfm cmss8.tfm cmsy9.tfm dummy.tfm lasyb10.tfm
cmbx8.tfm cmitt10.tfm cmr17.tfm cmss9.tfm cmtcsc10.tfm icmcsc10.tfm lcircle10.tfm
cmbx9.tfm cmmi10.tfm cmr5.tfm cmssbx10.tfm cmtex10.tfm icmex10.tfm lcirclew10.tfm
```

Each time a new Matlab version is introduced, the joy of getting many fresh or upgraded features is mixed with the worry of getting some good-old ones removed. Unfortunately, such a regression was exactly the case in the R2011b version (and to this day in R2013a), as seen below:

Suddenly, many of the former features are missing and a cascade of warnings is thrown:

```
Warning: Font cmss10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmss10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmss10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmss10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmssi10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmssi10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmssi10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmssi10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Font cmcsc10 is not supported.
Warning: Unable to interpret LaTeX string "\ttfamily\scshape\mdseries WALT bla fi f{}i ff"
Warning: Font cmssbx10 is not supported.
...
```

Note: you can turn these warnings off using:

```
>> warning off MATLAB:gui:latexsup:UnableToInterpretLaTeXString
>> warning off MATLAB:gui:latexsup:UnsupportedFont
```

Having the fonts inspected, the cause becomes crystal-clear: most of the fonts used by Latex have been removed from Matlab’s installation. Apparently, I am not the only one to have noticed this problem ^{[4]}.

```
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','fonts','ttf','cm'))
. mwa_cmbsy10.ttf mwa_cmitt10.ttf mwa_cmsltt10.ttf mwb_cmbsy10.ttf mwb_cmitt10.ttf mwb_cmsltt10.ttf
.. mwa_cmbx10.ttf mwa_cmmi10.ttf mwa_cmsy10.ttf mwb_cmbx10.ttf mwb_cmmi10.ttf mwb_cmsy10.ttf
LICENCE mwa_cmbxsl10.ttf mwa_cmmib10.ttf mwa_cmti10.ttf mwb_cmbxsl10.ttf mwb_cmmib10.ttf mwb_cmti10.ttf
README mwa_cmbxti10.ttf mwa_cmr10.ttf mwa_cmtt10.ttf mwb_cmbxti10.ttf mwb_cmr10.ttf mwb_cmtt10.ttf
mwa_cmb10.ttf mwa_cmex10.ttf mwa_cmsl10.ttf mwb_cmb10.ttf mwb_cmex10.ttf mwb_cmsl10.ttf
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','fonts','type1','cm'))
. mwa_cmbx10.pfb mwa_cmmi10.pfb mwa_cmsy10.pfb mwb_cmbx10.pfb mwb_cmmi10.pfb mwb_cmsy10.pfb
.. mwa_cmbxsl10.pfb mwa_cmmib10.pfb mwa_cmti10.pfb mwb_cmbxsl10.pfb mwb_cmmib10.pfb mwb_cmti10.pfb
README mwa_cmbxti10.pfb mwa_cmr10.pfb mwa_cmtt10.pfb mwb_cmbxti10.pfb mwb_cmr10.pfb mwb_cmtt10.pfb
mwa_cmb10.pfb mwa_cmex10.pfb mwa_cmsl10.pfb mwb_cmb10.pfb mwb_cmex10.pfb mwb_cmsl10.pfb
mwa_cmbsy10.pfb mwa_cmitt10.pfb mwa_cmsltt10.pfb mwb_cmbsy10.pfb mwb_cmitt10.pfb mwb_cmsltt10.pfb
>> dir(fullfile(matlabroot,'sys','tex','tfm'))
. cmbxti10.tfm cmmib10.tfm cmssi10.tfm cmu10.tfm lcirclew10.tfm
.. cmcsc10.tfm cmr10.tfm cmssq8.tfm icmcsc10.tfm line10.tfm
cmb10.tfm cmdunh10.tfm cmsl10.tfm cmssqi8.tfm icmex10.tfm linew10.tfm
cmbsy10.tfm cmex10.tfm cmsltt10.tfm cmsy10.tfm lasy10.tfm manfnt.tfm
cmbx10.tfm cmitt10.tfm cmss10.tfm cmti10.tfm lasyb10.tfm trip.tfm
cmbxsl10.tfm cmmi10.tfm cmssbx10.tfm cmtt10.tfm lcircle10.tfm
```

It seems that Mathworks have changed their approach to Latex; less fonts with different names imply a different future direction — perhaps to diminish Latex’s capacity in Matlab.

Being neither Tex nor Matlab expert, this is the farthest I could achieve. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to install the missing fonts in the new Matlab (as suggested by bug reports 249537 ^{[5]} and 398506 ^{[6]}); I even tried to modify some tex-files — all in vain. Perhaps someone could find a workaround or a full solution to this issue. If so, please post a comment ^{[7]}.

Note that I do not wish to incorporate Matlab figures in a Latex document (this can be done using the LaPrint utility ^{[8]} or its variants), but rather the reverse – including Latex formatting within Matlab figures.

Cross reference: additional aspects/followup on CSSM thread #330973 ^{[9]}.

Categories: Guest bloggers, Handle graphics

14 Comments (Open | Close)

Article printed from Undocumented Matlab: **http://undocumentedmatlab.com**

URL to article: **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/matlab-latex-interface**

URLs in this post:

[1] Yaroslav Don: **http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/authors/62644**

[2] Matlab color-scheme: **http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/fileexchange/28240-highlighting-matlab-files-in-vim**

[3] *latexfonts.m*: **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/files/latexfonts.m**

[4] noticed this problem: **http://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/answers/15171-latex-interpreter-seems-to-miss-fonts**

[5] 249537: **http://www.mathworks.com/support/bugreports/249537**

[6] 398506: **http://www.mathworks.com/support/bugreports/398506**

[7] post a comment: **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/blog/matlab-latex-interface/#respond**

[8] LaPrint utility: **http://www.mathworks.de/matlabcentral/fileexchange/4638-laprint**

[9] CSSM thread #330973: **https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/newsreader/view_thread/330973**

[10] JMI – Java-to-Matlab Interface : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/jmi-java-to-matlab-interface**

[11] Matclipse – Eclipse-Matlab interface : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/matclipse-eclipse-matlab-interface**

[12] Matlab-Java interface using a static control : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/matlab-java-interface-using-static-control**

[13] HG's undocumented parameters interface : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/hgs-undocumented-parameters-interface**

[14] Graphic sizing in Matlab R2015b : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/graphic-sizing-in-matlab-r2015b**

[15] handle2struct, struct2handle & Matlab 8.0 : **http://undocumentedmatlab.com/articles/handle2struct-struct2handle-and-matlab-8**

[16] : **https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/newsreader/view_thread/253780**

[17] : **https://www.mathworks.com/matlabcentral/newsreader/view_thread/283068**

[18] : **http://www.tug.org/mactex/fonts/fonttutorial-current.html**

[19] : **http://chenfuture.wordpress.com/2009/02/07/tex-fonts-ii-fd-def-and-tfm/**

[20] : **http://forge.scilab.org/index.php/p/jlatexmath/**

[21] : **http://www.mathjax.org**

[22] : **http://stackoverflow.com/questions/11212172/latex-fonts-in-matlab**

Click here to print.

Copyright © Yair Altman - Undocumented Matlab. All rights reserved.

14 Comments To "Matlab-Latex interface"

#1 CommentByDaniel ShubOn June 7, 2013 @ 03:29First, I would like to say that I really like the idea of latexfonts.m, but there is a lot going on in this post, of which I am not sure much is relevant …

First, LaTeX does not select the font until you add \selectfont. The details are more TeXnical then I understand. If you modify line 35 of latexfonts.m to be

`regular_text = @(fa,sh,se) sprintf('%s%s%s%s %s', family{fa},shape{sh},series{se},'\selectfont',txt);`

so that \selectfont is called, you get a very different result (at least on R2011a Linux) with no warnings and all the fonts showing up.

The reduction in fonts seems to be limited to removing true type fonts (TTF files) which LaTeX doesn’t use and alternate sizes of the LaTeX fonts. While the the subtle details of the Computer Modern font shape depend on the size, the differences are subtle so losing the alternate sizes is likely not a big deal (especially given all the other problems related to the appearance of MATLAB graphics). Further, TMW has disabled, potentially intentionally, the standard LaTeX size changing commands (e.g., \large gives an error). Changing the font size with

`set(h, 'fontsize', 20)`

does change the font size, but it is not clear what the command is doing since it is closed source. It is unlikely to be using LaTeX to do the resizing and rather it is more likely just scaling the text box (and its contents) appropriately.Much of the LaTeX processor, much of the source is open, but not free. It starts with tex.m where a tex file is constructed and is processed by a closed source mex file. My guess is this is a somewhat dated tex engine (but since tex is so stable it doesn’t matter). One can modify tex.m to call a local TeX engine (e.g., TeXLive) if the built in one is not sufficient. You can also modify tex.m to include all sorts of packages (although getting the path correct is difficult). Going back to the disabling of font size commands, you can look at tex.m and see MATLAB is using a document class called mwarticle.cls. The only differences between mwarticle.cls and the standard LaTeX article.cls is the disabling of size commands.

#2 CommentByRyan W.On June 7, 2013 @ 07:35This is a problem that I have long been interested in. As stated above, Matlab’s available LaTeX fonts only extend to the Computer Modern font family. As I have rather strict requirements with respect to the fonts that I can use in my scientific figures, this has caused some problems. I looked in to LaPrint, but I want figures that are stand alone and don’t need to be compiled in a LaTeX document. Furthermore, when creating something such as videos in Matlab, you need the actual text in the figure.

I eventually took the plunge and started sifting through Matlab’s somewhat hacked together distribution of LaTeX. In R2009b, on Mac OS X, I have actually been able to successfully install additional fonts (Helvetica and Symbol), although it is a rather crude implementation. Unfortunately, attempts at a similar implementation in Windows were unsuccessful (although I have come across some posts online that suggest it is possible:

^{[16]}and^{[17]}). This was all fine, as I primarily working in OS X; however, Matlab has been changing the LaTeX engine and my current method no longer works in releases after R2010. I’ve fiddled around with things in an attempt to get the installation procedure to work on the later releases of Matlab; however, they keep moving father and farther from standard LaTeX practices (such as moving from standard naming conventions, having different names between the ttf, pfb, and tfm files, and removing fonts all together as stated above), which makes it difficult to figure out how things work.For other peoples reference, here is a basic overview of what LaTeX does when type setting and how Matlab (at least in R2009) works. LaTeX typesetting is a rather complicated procedure. For a good overview of all that you need to install a new LaTeX font, see

^{[18]}. Unfortunately, as stated previously, Matlab has been moving away from the structure outlined in the aforementioned website. To start with, there is a font definition file (.fd) file, which outlines which font files are used based on font specifications (such as bold, italic, bold-italic, etc.) and the corresponding encoding. Based on the specified encoding, a enc.def file is read in which specifies the mapping of all of the font symbols. Based on this mapping, the engine takes the text and uses the corresponding tfm files, which contain the font metric information (or sizing), and setups up the location for where each character will be placed (see^{[19]}for more information). This is essentially what happens when you call LaTeX from the commandline: latex .tex. In the end, you get a DVI file that contains the location of text based on the tfm information. It is not until you convert the DVI into a post script (using dvips), or a pdf, that the actual font is embedded into the file. Therefore, more often than not, current LaTeX users actually then take this DVI and convert it to a post script file, followed by a conversion to a pdf. However, in the case of Matlab, the DVI information is used natively.So, that is how LaTeX works in general when typesetting text. Matlab’s use of the LaTeX engine, to place text in it’s figures, is not at all documented. Everything that I discuss here is based on what I have pieced together myself and is specific to R2009 (although most versions are similarly structured). Lets start with the basic file structure found in Matlab. The base of the installation is found in /Applications/MATLAB_R/sys on a Mac (to find it on Windows, go into the programs folder for Matlab, followed by the “sys” folder). Within this folder, the important folders are

|-fonts

|—ttf

|—–cm

|—type1

|—–cm

|-tex

|—format

|—–bigendian

|—–smallendian

|—latex

|—–base

|—tfm

The “fonts” folder contains the ttf and type1 font files for Computer Modern (and a couple additional ones such as Euler). The “tex” folder contains the LaTeX specific files. Of interest within this folder are the “tfm” and the “base” folders. The “tfm” folder contains all of the tfm files that correspond to the Computer Modern fonts found in the “fonts” folder. The “tex” folder contains the LaTeX class file “mwarticle.cls” which Matlab uses to typeset the LaTeX text. This class file is essentially LaTeX’s default “article.cls” class, with some modifications made specifically to play nice with Matlab. Finally, the “base” folder contains all of the font definition files (.fd) and the encoding files (.enc).

There are two ways to go about installing a new font. You can either modify the Matlab file tex.m (which is discussed in a previous post) or you can physically put files into the folder structure. As both methods consist of medling with the Matlab distribution, I strongly suggest backing up files before you start messing around with things. To manually install a new font into the file structure, you essentially need to add the corresponding ttf, type1 (pfb and pfm files), tfm, and fd files into this file structure, along with some modifications to the “mwarticle.cls” file. If you want to install a preexisting LaTeX font, you simply need to track down the ttf, type1, tfm and fd files and place them in their respective folders. Then, to use this font by default, you go into the “mwarticle.cls” file, find the text,

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

%% MODIFIED FOR MATLAB HERE

\renewcommand\normalsize{\fontsize{10pt}{12pt}\selectfont}

\setlength{\textwidth}{6.5in}

\setlength{\textheight}{8in}

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

and add the line:

`\renewcommand{\rmdefault}{<fontname>}`

where <fontname> corresponds to the filename of your .fd file; you could similarly do this for \sfdefault and \ttdefault. You could theoretically specify the font with this command each time you write text in a figure in Matlab using \selectfont, but it is more convenient to do this in the class file if you indent on always using this font (or in the tex.m file). With access to the class file, you can actually customize the fonts quite a bit (for instance, mixing and matching fonts within mathmode, or installing additional LaTeX packages, etc). If you want to install a non-standard font file (i.e., one that doesn’t come with LaTeX), you need to get even more creative and use software, such as FontForge (which is free), and create all of the necessary font files, along with hand writing the .fd file. I have done this for the case of Helvetica and Symbol fonts; however, this is a non-trivial task that I have massaged to work (and only Mac OS X).

There is a very useful tools to be aware of when trying to install your own fonts into Matlab (although Matlab has recently changed it in R2011 or R2012, making it less helpful). To test to make sure everything is installed correctly, use the following command in the Matlab command line:

which should print out some of the LaTeX compiler information, specifying which font definitions are called and if any errors occurred.

A final note, it is often not too difficult to get Matlab to show your newly installed font in its figure windows; however, when you go to export these figures to vector formats (such as pdf or eps), it can have issues embedding the correct fonts (especially if you have cooked up your own non-standard font). This is something that I have yet to figure out exactly how things work.

If anyone has further insight on how LaTeX works in Matlab, especially in the case of newer releases and in the case of Windows, please let me know.

#3 CommentByDanOn June 7, 2013 @ 15:24If you are having trouble understanding how to deal with the MATLAB LaTeX engine, but understand how to use your local LaTeX engine (e.g., TeXLive or MikTeX), you can cut the MATLAB LaTeX engine out of the loop. For example, you can compile

`\documentclass{article}`

\begin{document}

\setbox0=\hbox{$\frac{1}{2}$}\copy0\special{bounds: \the\wd0 \the\ht0 \the\dp0}

\end{document}

with your local LaTeX engine to create a file called

matlab.dvi. You can then overloadtex.mto beand then call

`text(0.5, 0.5, 'XXX', 'Interpreter', 'LaTeX')`

— whatever is inmatlab.dviwill show up in your figure. You of course could/should make the overloadedtex.mmuch more functional and do the compiling based on the input string, but the key is you can completely bypass the MATLAB LaTeX engine. There are still limits as to what can go into a LaTeX hbox and limits on the dvi output format, but standard LaTeX fonts shouldn’t be a problem and my guess is you might be able to get XelaTeX to create an appropriate dvi file with system fonts.Right now

tex.mis a small undocumented glimpse between a lot of proprietary processing. As long as MATLAB continues to provide this hole by which we can inject user generated dvi content, it doesn’t matter what they do with the LaTeX interpreter.#4 CommentByRyan W.On June 13, 2013 @ 07:27That is a great idea. I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t think of this myself (I guess I got caught up with trying to tweak what Matlab already had there). I gave your sample code a try and it worked great (although it might still be a good idea to use Matlab’s

mwarticle.clsfile, or a variation of it, to get the text located in the proper location in the figure). I briefly gave XeLaTeX a try with hopes that I could use system fonts. As XeLaTeX produces an extended dvi file (xdv), I modified your overload function fortex.mto beIf I use the same

.texfile that you specify above, than everything works the same as with adviproduced with LaTeX. Unfortunately, when I compile the following code with XeLaTeX:`\documentclass[11pt]{article}`

\usepackage{fontspec}

\setmainfont{Helvetica}

`\begin{document}`

\setbox0=\hbox{$x = \alpha$}\copy0\special{bounds: \the\wd0 \the\ht0 \the\dp0}

\end{document}

in an attempted to use the standard Hevletica font, and feed the

xdvfile into Matlab, Matlab doesn’t like it and crashes. Any thoughts?#5 CommentByJanOn June 26, 2013 @ 05:05I despise the route that matlab has gone into regarding latex since version 2010. Thank you Dan, for the nice work-around. I’m interested to what people have cooked up regadring more elaborate tex.m contraptions.

#6 CommentByMalcolm LidierthOn June 8, 2013 @ 04:45Possible alternatives to MATLAB tex interpreting within MATLAB:

1. Use the MATLAB

function withjavacomponent^{[20]}which is used in SciLab.2. More complex but more flexible if using Java 7 (or 6 with JavaFX added): use

to add ajavacomponent`JFXPanel`

containing`WebView`

to a MATLAB figure/uipanel and then use^{[21]}to display the content.#7 CommentByBrianOn June 10, 2013 @ 08:28This may be a slight tangent, but I was wondering how to set the background color of a single word in a text box in a figure.

(aka: highlight with big bold yellow 🙂

I’ve been using tex to set the font color of individual words successfully,

but background color doesn’t seem to be supported by Matlab’s tex engine.

Perhaps overloading matlab’s tex.m is the answer.

Though I assume I would have to get everyone else who uses my script to install the new LaTeX engine?

What would be the best LaTeX engine for changing background color?

My main restriction is that I’m dealing with figures and text objects that already exist, so I can’t simply use a different method (javacomponent) to create the text object.

Thanks,

Brian

#8 CommentByLubos SmolikOn June 11, 2013 @ 06:22The easiest way to highlight some text is to use

soulpackage:It is recommended to employ also package

colorin order to use color references.But there is one thing: I’m not sure how MATLAB will interpret

\usepackagecommand. Anyway, you can try it in proper (La)TeX editor and if you find it easy to use then switch to MATLAB and see what happen 😉#9 CommentByMalcolm LidierthOn June 11, 2013 @ 07:30Can you not just set the BackgroundColor of the uicontrol?

#10 CommentByBrianOn June 14, 2013 @ 13:44Thanks Lubos. Matlab’s text engine doesn’t seem to support the soul package. When I get some time, I will try to switch out matlab’s tex engine and try the soul package.

Malcolm, yes, I can (and do) set the background color of the entire uicontrol. But I failed mention earlier that the text box has lots of words in it (sometimes many lines of text). My goal is to highlight only one of the words in yellow…aka showing the results from a text search.

#11 CommentByCarstenOn October 16, 2013 @ 12:26Hello,

thanks for this post and the interesting additional information in the comments. However, after some testing and poking around, I don’t believe that tex.m is the relevant point to solve this problem. (For reference: I use R1013a on 64-bit Linux.) True that you can hack tex.m to make Matlab use another (La)TeX engine. But that’s only part of the deal, because the latex run doesn’t really render the font, it only produces the dvi file, which just contains positioning information.

When I run tex(‘$\sf x = 5$’,’verbose’,2), it reports no errors but a number of successes, including finding cmss10.tfm. That is the file that latex uses in order to typeset cmss10; it contains the font metrics, but not the font glyphs needed for rendering.

When I put a debugging breakpoint at the end of tex.m, and then run xlabel(‘$\sf x = 5$’, ‘Interpreter’, ‘latex’), I don’t get an error message until the breakpoint, either. At this point, the rendering to the figure window hasn’t happened yet. If I let Matlab continue from the breakpoint, the figure window is updated and the familiar message “Warning: Font cmss10 is not supported” appears.

The problem does not lie in the built-in latex not being able to process the string into dvi, it lies in Matlab not being able to render the dvi.I suspect that in order to render, Matlab would need a file like mwa_cmss10.ttf in sys/fonts/ttf/cm for screen display and a file like mwa_cmss10.pfb in sys/fonts/type1/cm for eps output.A current installation of TeXlive does not contain cmss10 anymore. Computer Modern has been replaced by Latin Modern, available as an OpenType file in texmf/fonts/opentype/public/lm/lmsans10-regular.otf; and I can’t find a pfb version on my system.

Instead, I tried to copy cmss10.ttf from an installation of matplotlib to sys/fonts/ttf/cm/mwa_cmss10.ttf, but with no effect. I guess there is some kind of font registration in which the file has to be listed to be available. For the pfb-files there is sys/fonts/fonts.scale, fonts.dir, and encodings.dir, but I couldn’t find anything for ttf files.

I also tried to install cmss10.ttf as a system font. It does show up in Matlab’s font selection dialogue as “cmss10”, but if used the rendering is wrong, and it doesn’t keep ‘Interpreter’ = ‘latex’ from complaining.

Any more ideas, anyone?I’d really like to be able using latex sans serif again.#12 CommentByYair AltmanOn October 16, 2013 @ 13:51Have you tried the official route? What does MathWorks tech support have to say about this?

#13 PingbackByHow to make fonts available to the LaTeX interpreter in Matlab R2013a? | Technology & Programming AnswersOn November 3, 2013 @ 04:32[…] Making additional fonts usable therefore consists of two parts: Making it available for the LaTeX interpreter, and making it available for the rendering function. The first part can be tackled by manipulating tex.m, such that it generates the dvi through an independent regular installation of LaTeX, and installing the font to this LaTeX in the usual way (e.g. font packages). See undocumentedmatlab. […]

#14 CommentBymugurgOn July 28, 2015 @ 02:15If you want to use LaTeX interpreter of MATLAB, create .eps figures, and get the desired font (like Helvetica) instead of Computer Modern fonts, I think I’ve finally found a solution. I actually saw it here:

^{[22]}But I needed to scroll down a little bit and read the answers which did not get any upvote.Anyways, the trick is to open the resulting .eps file with a text editor and replace cm fonts with Helvetica or whatever you want. For example, change the following lines:

with the following:

I hope this helps to whomever googles this problem.