[OS X TeX] Line thickness in TeXShop preview (and Preview.app) on Tiger

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu May 19 16:48:00 CEST 2005

Le 19 mai 05 à 15:53, William F. Adams a écrit :

> On May 14, 2005, at 9:11 AM, William F. Adams wrote:
>> This is a function of how TeX draws lines. Instead of using a  
>> PostScript ``moveto'' and ``stroke'' operator, it defines a  
>> rectangular region and fills it.
> I've just learned that this has changed for pdftex and dvipdfm ---  
> since 1999 or thereafter both have a configurable option to replace  
> rectangles w/ lines. The standard here is for lines of 1bp or  
> smaller to be rendered w/ stroked lines.

Thanks, now I understand. When typesetting with pdfTeX, all lines  
look indeed fine (1px thickness each), and it's only when typesetting  
with TeX + dvips + gs that the line thickness starts to vary. (I just  
verified this.)

Thus it may well be caused by pdfTeX vs. TeX + dvips, instead of  
Tiger vs. Panther. I usually typeset with either pdfTeX or XeTeX, and  
hadn't been using the TeX + dvips route for more than a year. That's  
why I'd probably forgotten.

>> This means that it's subject to rounding errors as you noted, but  
>> this can be ameliorated by anti-aliasing and other rendering  
>> settings.
>> In the past, I recall such dropping out completely quite often at  
>> lower magnifications, so it seems that Apple has set things so  
>> that they always render, resulting in the results you see.
> Another thing to check for is to see if you're stacking one line on  
> top of another --- when antialasing this can result in a darker image.

I don't think that's the case: the lines are caused by \hline or |  
column specifiers in tabular or longtable environments.

> Have you compared the previewing to Adobe Acrobat w/ ``Smooth line  
> art'' enabled?

I had to switch to English language (using System Prefs >  
International) to understand what you meant. That's another instance  
of crappy software localization: in the French version of Adobe Reader,

Smooth text
Smooth line art
Smooth images

have been translated as

Dessin au trait

Namely, the word "smooth" has simply been omitted, making the  
checkboxes meaningless. But yes, in any case "Smooth line art" is on  
by default.

My worst experience so far on software localization is with iWork's  
Pages. For example, "Inset margin" in the Inspector has been  
translated as "Insérer une marge" meaning actually "Inse*r*t margin".  
And "Outline" (from the Format > Font menu) has been translated as  
"Cadre" meaning actually "Frame". Even worse, when looking in the  
French help for "Encadrer" (that is for a way to put a frame around a  
piece of text, as in a table) you are guided towards this menu item  
"Cadre" and get, logically enough given the translation mistake, an  
outline font instead of a framed text. And that's just examples,  
taken among many! No wonder Apple has so far got mitigated success  
with iWork.

Bruno Voisin--------------------- Info ---------------------
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