[Q] setting the xheight

Lars Hellström Lars.Hellstrom@math.umu.se
Mon, 6 Nov 2000 06:52:32 -0500

At 03.22 +0100 2000-11-05, Rolf Marvin B¯e Lindgren wrote:
>one of my users is unfortunate enough to have to cope with a rather
>demanding publishing standard, which has strict demands on the x-height
>of the Times Roman SmallCaps.  I've volunteered to try and find out how
>to set up a special virtual smallcaps font for this particular
>publication, and wonder -
>     -  could this be done just by changing font dimensions from TeX
>        instead - there are registers that deal with certain aspects of
>        font sizes and proportions, right?

Well, \fontdimen 5 is the x-height of the font to TeX, but changing that
has no effect on neither the metrics nor the visual appearence of the
characters, so I doubt changing that would please the publisher. The only
thing it would affect is how (top) accents are positioned, as TeX assumes
the vertical position of these are suitable for characters whose height
equals the x-height.

>     -  if I _have_ to use fontinst to create an alternative virtual
>        smallcaps font, are there any snags I should be advised to be
>        aware of?  is this covered in the manual?

Times Roman has no real small caps (right?), so you would simply fake it by
scaling the upper case; \latinfamily will do this for you. To get the right
x-height in the smallcaps you'll have to set the smallcapsscale integer
(used in latin.mtx) before calling \latinfamily. The correct value for this
integer would be 1000 times the wanted smallcaps x-height divided by the
cap height of Times Roman. (This will in fact make give \fontdimen 5 the
same value as in the normal Times Roman, but that is as it should be since
the accent glyphs will also be the same as in normal Times Roman.)

Lars Hellström