[OS X TeX] pdftex 1.20a

Alexandru Scorpan ascorpan at math.ufl.edu
Tue Sep 14 23:43:22 CEST 2004

> No idea about the latest pdftex (1.20a) but what are "the 
> microtypographical niceties from the new microtype package"?

The niceties are:  Margin kerning (that was already available via the 
pdfcprot package) and font expansion (new).  These features are best 
explained by the following quote from HT Thanh's thesis (taken from the 
documentation of R Schlicht's new microtype package, uploaded to CTAN 
on 2004/9/11, available in the usual places, such as 
http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/ ).

>    Margin kerning is the adjustments of the characters at the
>    margins of a typeset text. A simplified employment of margin 
> kerning is
>    hanging punctuation. Margin kerning is needed for optical alignment 
> of the
>    margins of a typeset text, because mechanical justification of the 
> margins
>    makes them look rather ragged. Some characters can make a line 
> appear
>    shorter to the human eye than others. Shifting such characters by an
>    appropriate amount into the margins would greatly improve the 
> appearance
>    of a typeset text.

>    Composing with font expansion is the method to use a wider or 
> narrower
>    variant of a font to make interword spacing more even. A font in a 
> loose
>    line can be substituted by a wider variant so the interword spaces 
> are
>    stretched by a smaller amount. Similarly, a font in a tight line 
> can be
>    replaced by a narrower variant to reduce the amount that the 
> interword
>    spaces are shrunk by. There is certainly a potential danger of font
>    distortion when using such manipulations, thus they must be used 
> with
>    extreme care. The potentiality to adjust a line width by font 
> expansion
>    can be taken into consideration while a paragraph is being broken 
> into
>    lines, in order to choose better breakpoints.'


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