[pdftex] size of glyphs in postscript fonts

White, George WhiteG at mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
Wed Feb 7 08:29:43 CET 2001

Your question is appropriate to the pdftex list: a) because pdftex 
encourages you to use the base fonts (e.g., Times-Roman) when you need 
compact pdf files, and b) because some tricks that you can use with 
dvips to help match font sizes don't seem to have a pdftex equivalent. 

There is no enforceable requirement that different font families 
have similar real sizes at a given TeX "size".  Design differences
mean that even if you choose similar real sizes the line breaks will
be different.  Many publication layouts are designed for Times-Roman.
Because Computer Modern tends to need more space for a given "real" size,
such layouts tend to have too few words on a line and to produce lots of
poor line breaks when you use CM fonts scaled to match the size of 
Times-Roman was used to develop the layout.  

There have been some articles in TUGboat on scaling PostScript fonts 
to give a better match to other TeX fonts.  If you are using LaTeX, some
packages do take pains to choose a series of sizes (e.g., for subscripts, 
typewrite and sans fonts.,tc.) that better approximates the sizes of CM

In some cases it may be easier to accept the sizes chosen by your macro
and adjust the page layout so that you end up with the desired final size by

scaling the page using a "dvips -y.." option.  I'm not aware of any
trick when you are using pdftex to generate pdf files directly. 
-----Original Message-----
From: reyerd at t-online.de
To: pdftex at tug.org
Sent: 2/6/01 8:57 PM
Subject: [pdftex] size of glyphs in postscript fonts


When I switch from Computer Modern to another font, like Times, the size
of the glyphs changes too. This means that although I want the text to
be typeset at 11pt, the result looks like it was typeset at 12pt: The
linebreaks are at different positions and there are fewer words on a

Is this the correct behaviour? Shouldn't fonts at the same size give, at
least approximately, the same output?

Is it possible to scale the fonts to their correct size? I've seen that
the tfm-file has a parameter design-size. Is this the right place for

And what is the correct size for a font? The pfm-files have fields
called points and pointsize. But these are always set to 10 and 240
respectively. Or should I use an em for scaling?

When using one postscript font, the leading was too small. Does this
have anything to do with the pointsize?

Thanks for your answers. I know, it's a little bit offtopic.


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