[pdftex] Character protrusion / manual / man page

Gerolf Wulf at Gerolf.de
Sat Dec 15 00:22:39 CET 2001


I just started to play with pdfTeX's nice new "micro-typesetting" 
feature called "character protrusion", which allows small characters to 
be shifted into the margin, such that the border doesn't look ragged. I 
wouldn't expect Microsoft Word ever being capable to do this... Surely 
protrusion is most useful for the hyphen character, which appears rather 
frequently in German texts.

As described on pages 111 to 114 in the appendix to Han The Thanh's 
thesis (which can be found at www.pragma-pod.nl ), hyphen protrusion is 
set up by saying

    \font \myfont = X at  Ypt
    \pdfprotrudechars = 2 % consider protrusion for line-breaking
    \rpcode \myfont `\- = 700

Thanh is doing this for a serif font, I suppose. However, if I'm using 
the Acrobat Reader built-in font "Helvetica", I must say

    \rpcode \myfont `\- = 300

to get even borders. So \rpcode is font-specific as well as 
character-specific. Now for my question: Can I deduce \rpcode from the 
character width, or is there a general rule to compute \rpcode from 
\fontdimen parameters? -

At 12/11/2001, William Adams wrote:

> Any progress on getting the pdfTeX user manual up-dated? Still dated 
> 21 January 2000....

The same day, Hans Hagen Adams wrote:

> In general pdftex is rather stable so there is not so much news. 

The character protrusion feature is good news for me, but it isn't 
mentioned in the manual, as far as I see.

> The texbook is dated previous century -)

Is the pdfTeX man page dated 29 March 1999 (which was shipped with my 
SuSE Linux 7.0) still the latest one? - It doesn't mention pdftex.cfg, 
and the default map file seems to be psfonts.map instead of texfonts.map.


Gerolf Diethelm Brettschneider, Bremen

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