[OS X TeX] Font files clarified

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Sun May 12 16:49:51 CEST 2002

> All
> I once asked the question whether teTeX on the mac OSX needed to have 
> fonts in pfb format, or whether pfa was possible as well. Ross M. 
> replied that for pdftex pfb was needed, though not necessarily with 
> dvips. This issue has come up on the pdftex list and I asked Thomas 
> Esser for clarification. Here is his response:
> (I had said) This all came up in a discussion of whether tetex needs to 
> have font
> files in .pfb format or whether with the correct .map file it would be
> possible to use .pfa's or macintosh's .lwfn type font files.
> I have no idea what .lwfn files are, but I just have tested that pdftex
> works with pfa files.
> Thomas

Well, I'm happy to stand corrected on PFAs; but with  t1utils ,
it's very easy to go between .pfa and .pfb, so that's really a non-issue.

If .lwfn  is just another name for .pfa, then they should work too,
but if these are broken into resources, in the old MacOS (pre-X) way,
then some conversion is needed;  t1utils  gives the means for this too,
so you might as well go all the way to .pfb .

> This leaves the question of whether it is possible to simply leave the 
> font outline file in lwfn format (appropriately renamed of course). I 
> point out that Tom Kiffe's CMacTeX is able to use untransformed lwfn 
> files, with an appropriate lwfn map file.
> Unless there is some kink in the story that i have missed (always 
> possible I admit) this means that using postscript fonts in tex should 
> not require adapting the outlne fonts, merely creating the auxilliary 
> files such as the tfm's and the vf's.
> (In fact I wonder if even the vf's might be dispensible with pdftex.)

Certainly fonts are usable without vf's, but you will run into trouble
with ligatures and accents if you try this.
The result will be that  fi fl ff  just disappears from quite common words.
Also, greek capitals will not be available for mathematics; and there
are a few other quirky things that will happen.

You *can* get around the quirks by writing macros to draw the characters
>from different positions --- but that will tie your document source
to work correctly with only the fonts for which you have tuned it,
via such extra macros. A major purpose of virtual fonts was to make such
font/macro dependencies unnecessary, so that you can choose a different
font for your document without having to worry about whether you still
get the right characters everywhere.

Have fun,

	Ross Moore

> Adrian Heathcote

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