[Q] setting the xheight

Hilmar Schlegel schlegel@vossnet.de
Tue, 7 Nov 2000 09:54:37 -0500

Lars Hellström wrote:
> At 03.22 +0100 2000-11-05, Rolf Marvin B¯e Lindgren wrote:
> 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.
> 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.)

Hm, x-height means actually in Tex not the height of the x but the
zero-line for which there is no vertical shift in accent positioning.
I.e. characters higher than this dimension move their top accents
If you use normal accents with small capitals you must make sure that
the accents on top of the small capitals are vertically moved to the
identical position where they are in the composite characters already
pre-built. Since the small capitals are usually a bit higher than x one
must usually increase the x-height a bit to avoid the normal accents
floating too high. The Tex-x-height depends therefore 
- on the natural hight of accents used
- on the target position (compared with other composite characters of
the same font)

One must care for this especially in case accents & base characters come
from different fonts. E.g. normal accents for small capitals or accents
from the expert set for a normal font which has no accent characters in
its "natural" encoding available. The latter case applies typically to
MS-Win fonts.

A general tip is to avoid using ligatures from small caps fonts due to a
bug of Acrobat in using font substitution by MM fonts if the sc font is
unavailable for display/print.

Finally Monotype provides an Expert TimesNR font while Linotype has a
Times small caps as well a bold Times small caps.

Good luck with a "little" all-caps font (I assume this will be easy;-)

Hilmar Schlegel