[pdftex] Concise Summary of using TTF fonts?

M. Wroth mark at astrid.upland.ca.us
Thu Jan 10 22:40:51 CET 2002

At 11:05 AM 1/10/02 -0400, George N. White III wrote:
>On Thu, 10 Jan 2002, M. Wroth wrote:
> > Has anyone written a concise summary of how to set up pdftex on Windows to
> > use TrueType fonts in the pdf output?
>It might help to mention WHY you want to do this. I would like to be able
>to [tell Win32 and Mac OS9.x users how to] use TrueType unicode fonts,
>e.g., with CJK TeX, but so far I have been recommending against using
>TrueType fonts that have Type 1 clones (mostly so documents created
>off-unix will be compatible with those created on unix machines). I gather
>that some schemes for using TT fonts produce PDF's that print and display,
>but don't support text search or cut-and-paste, so you should specify
>whether you need these capabilities.  You should also mention whether
>you need compatibility with TeX on platforms other than Win32.

A fair question: I have been creating a number of technical documents using 
pdfTeX and the default cm fonts. I have received complaints from several 
people that some of the characteristics of the cm fonts (as displayed) make 
the documents difficult to read, especially on the screen (the specific 
characteristics causing the complaints are the very narrow vertical strokes).

So my desire is to substitute fonts with better on-screen readability for 
the cmr series, and the candidates I was looking at are TrueType (Georgia, 
specifically).  The resulting PDF file will often be read on screen, but 
sometimes printed.

Compatibility with other OS is not an issue in terms of creating the 
documents (I can assume that the document creator is using an NT box), and 
is only a minor issue for readers of the document (almost all of the 
readers are on Windows boxes, although there are a few SGIs).

>If you want to use something other than CM fonts but want to use maths,
>you might do better using one of the LaTeX styles based on the
>"LaserWriter 35" fonts. In particular, MathTime (commercial), txr, pazo,
>or pxr (all free).

Good suggestions, I think: I don't know those packages, but I'm not wedded 
to TTF, and I know how to make Type 1 fonts work.

> > I know the subject has been discussed extensively, but it never quite made
> > sense to me (partially because I wasn't trying to do it myself, I
> > suspect).  Now I need to :-)
>There have been some recipes posted to this list, but isn't always clear
>what results you should expect, and many seem to require additional font
>manipulation tools. I don't have regular access to Win32 or Apple systems
>(I was supposed to have access to a shiny new PowerBook G4, but it doesn't
>work and Apple can't seem to get organized to do anything about fixing
>it), so I really rely on the list archives for solutions to non-unix
>We have just started using Linux and UTF-8 (which is not yet supported on
>our SGI Irix systems). The most common Adobe CID fonts for Japanese are
>OpenType, which don't appear to be supported by the exising font
>manipulation tools, so users are interested in using Unicode TT fonts
>with TeX on Linux.
>I hope this thread will include:
>0.  discussion of when TT fonts should be used
>1.  recipes for supporting Unicode TT fonts in pdftex
>2.  information about the quality of the resulting PDF files:
>     are they searchable and can you cut-and-paste to other apps?
>     what versions of Acrobat Reader are needed to display the files
>     correctly?
>3.  discussion of compatibility with unix tools (font manipulation,
>     xpdf, ghostscript) at both TeX source and PDF viewer levels
>George N. White III <gnw3 at acm.org> Bedford Institute of Oceanography

Mark B. Wroth
<mark at astrid.upland.ca.us>

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