[OS X TeX] cm vs cm-super vs lmodern

Siep Kroonenberg siepo at cybercomm.nl
Sat Jul 17 09:36:51 CEST 2004

On Fri, Jul 16, 2004 at 03:06:02PM -0500, Herb Schulz wrote:
> On 7/16/04 2:53 PM, "Aditya Dushyant Trivedi" <atrivedi2 at student.gsu.edu>
> wrote:
> > Just a newbie question,
> > 
> > If I have installed the cm-super package are the cm-super fonts used instead
> > of cm without any specific declaration in my LaTeX file? Also is there any
> > reason one would want to use the regular bitmapped cm fonts instead of
> > cm-super?
> > 
> > Also, why would I want to use lmodern over cm-super or vice versa? The font
> > issues are a bit heady. Thanks.
> > 
> > Eddy
> That said I must say I like using the Latin Modern fonts better; they seem
> to be a better ``copy'' of the CM fonts with the same line breaks while
> CMSuper seems to change line breaks. They should be used with the T1 font
> encoding just like CMSuper: put
> \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
> \usepackage{lmodern}
> in the preamble and \usepackage{textcomp} adds some special characters to
> the mix again.
> The ordinary CM fonts that are used on the Mac are not bitmapped, they are
> type 1 fonts.
> Good Luck,
> Herb Schulz
> (herbs at wideopenwest.com)

A bit more about the CMSuper and Latin Modern fonts: the CM Super
fonts are converted from their bitmapped EC counterparts by very
a clever method of tracing the bitmapped outlines.  Although
the CM Super fonts are better than you have any right to expect, it
is still a conversion. This means more control points in the
definitions of the glyph outlines than really necessary, and the
occasional oddity.

Latin Modern is a reimplementation of the Computer Modern text fonts
and should therefore have cleaner glyph outlines. As I understand,
the makers identified what exactly were the problems with converting
MetaFont outlines to Type1 outlines, and by avoiding those problems
they got MetaFont sources which convert cleanly to Type1 outlines.

There are also differences in available design sizes and in
character sets / encodings. the Latin Modern fonts have a more
design sizes than the old Computer Modern fonts but not quite as
many as the EC fonts. And the actual .pfb font files have a large
characterset, from which tfms in various encodings have been
created: cork, qx, texnansi and ts1.

I would say that Latin Modern is the way to go.

Siep Kroonenberg
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