I am interested in using truly free (FLOSS) fonts for my academic writing. What are the most popular free fonts used in academic writing?

  • 7
    Why? Each journal or conference has its own guidelines for latex templates and fonts to use. Ignoring them will only do you more harm than good.
    – Alexandros
    Jul 8, 2015 at 8:37
  • 5
    I'm inclined to write "the standard LaTeX font (Computer Modern), whose TrueType-1 version is available under the Open Font License (according to Wikipedia). It is definitely very widely used.
    – DCTLib
    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:05
  • @DCTLib I agree, Computer Modern or the largely equivalent Latin Modern. But of course it's immaterial what font you use while drafting a manuscript: the publisher will set the text according to their standard style for the book or journal. Incidentally Gulliver, the font used for most Elsevier journals, has remarkably restrictive licensing terms.
    – Pont
    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:19
  • 1
    Computer Modern for LaTeX users. Times New Roman for Word users. Just like in any other non-academic setting. (Ok, Times is not actually free, but comes included with Windows).
    – henning
    Jul 8, 2015 at 9:24

2 Answers 2


I don't think there's any specific font for academic writing. I don't think anybody cares about the font, you have so many other things to worry about when you are writing an article..

If you are referring to piece that's not professionally edited before publishing, like a poster, or non-published like a blog-post; then there are several guidelines for making a poster visually appealing and easily-readable.

In general for printed media, where the resolution is much higher compared to 72 dpi screen) the rule is to go for sans-serif headings/titles and serif text, because it makes it easier to read. Because posters are supposed to be roomy and not crammed with text it's totally viable, and lately popular too, to go with non-serif text in posters as well. Thanks partly to Apple's branding lately Helvetica, and the derivatives thereof, are pretty neat and work well (IMHO).

PS: I don't think it's on-topic here, but couldn't place it into a category. I don't agree with the close-vote about this being a shopping question.

  • 1
    I think it's less shopping question and more boat-font-choice question ;-)
    – Flyto
    Jul 8, 2015 at 20:56
  • because it makes it easier to readthat may very well be a myth.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Nov 23, 2016 at 21:06

Use what your target journal's guide for authors, and style guide, tell you to use. And if the journal supplies a template, use it.

Typefaces vary by journal and by discipline. There is no meaningful single answer of a particular typeface.

Assuming you actually do want to get published, then make your submitted paper look as much like existing papers in that journal as possible. And follow the target journals' guide for authors, and style guide. Those documents exist for a reason.

  • 1
    "And if the conference supplies a template, groan at how awful it is, fix it so that it actually complies with their style guide, and use it " :-)
    – Flyto
    Jul 8, 2015 at 20:55

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