[OS X TeX] Font size in tetex and/or TexShop

Gerben Wierda Gerben.Wierda at rna.nl
Tue Jul 20 12:08:39 CEST 2004

> Le 20 juil. 04, à 05:10, Sylvan Jacques a écrit :
>> I have just started learning Latex, and my first modification
>> failed. I ran
>> =========> \documentclass[14pt]{article}
>> \begin{document}
>>      Hello World.
>> \end{document}
>> ==========> LaTeX Warning: Unused global option(s):  [14pt].
>> =====> If I change 14pt to 12pt, it seems to run ok

Jerome writes

> The question is now "why are things so difficult?"
> I think this is due to the original design of fonts that were not
> scalable.
> Remember that LaTeX was designed in the last century...

I think the situation is slightly different. It all depends on what you
want. If you want a document design based on using a 14pt text (and larger
headings etc) Jerome has given a pointer to extensions.

TeX has knowledge of the difefrence between design size and scaling. I can
have a 10pt design size and a font like that looks best when used at a
size of 10 pts. However, nothing stops me from scaling that font, not in
TeX. So, I can use the 5pt font and scale it to 10pt in TeX, and I can use
the 10pt font.

These two will ook significantly different.

TeX has happily supported scaling of fonts since its birth over 25 years
ago. In TeX there is the \magstep command as well as the possibility to do
something like "cmr5 at 10pt" when loading fonts. That scales the font
nicely within TeX's world and when rendered they are rendered perfectly
(though originally as bitmaps for your particular resolution). The idea of
scalable fonts is in fact not as good because you only have one of the two
sizes (display size and design size)

Think of it as being able to print something that you can read at a far
away distance, but which looks like you are reading up close. Scaling does
that. Using a bigger design size, changes the design of your layout.

If you use 14pt because you like that as a design for your document, use a
different design size (using Jerome's tip). If you want to be able to read
the document from afar, use scaling (e.g. using A5 paper and 12pt and then
magnifying it).

For most users new to TeX, the difference between design size and display
size is a new thing.

> Moreover, a somehow cool LaTeX would parse the given options to match a
> XXpt and then load the appropriate sizeXX.clo,
> whatever XX can be. Despite it is perfectly feasable (by TeX gurus I
> mean), I guess this is certainly time consuming and we do not have
> enough computing power to waste time for that.

It is probably not that different to code. Maybe it is already so and it
is just the missing sizeXX.clo file.


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