[pdftex] Problem with TrueType fonts - error "Bad metric"

Stefan Ohletz dabifml at gmx.net
Sat Feb 19 11:11:15 CET 2005

Taco Hoekwater wrote:

> Stefan Ohletz wrote:
>> Am I doing anything wrong or is this some known bug of pdftex? Can 
>> anyone reproduce this error message with the Helium font I referred 
>> to above? To be honest, I don't have a clue what role encodings play 
>> when installing font files. Could this be a source of errors, perhaps?
> Looks like you found a bug in ttf2afm, because the generated afm file
> for Helium had
>   XHeight 64960
> and that is more than 100 times too much (should be 576). I manually
> fixed that line and now it seems fine. It could also be a bug in the
> font itself, that ttf2afm does not know how to handle.

Thank you very much for your help. I solved the problem!

It doesn't seem to be a real bug in ttf2afm, because the demo version of 
a TrueType font editor revealed that XHeight was set to 64960 already in 
the font file, in the section "Include PCL5 data".

To me as a newbie it seems that one has to know a lot about the file 
formats and the myriads of options one can change in the .ttf font file, 
which probably also means that one has to have ready a font editor to 
fix some problems (well, maybe it would suffice to get to know the .afm 
format, would it?).

Anyhow, I feel a bit reminded of the phrase "TeX font mess" I already 
read on so many web pages. I'm still a bit puzzled about the fact that 
the font installs seamlessly on Windows, but can't be properly converted 
by TeX. I guess TeX uses (has to use) other data included in the font 
file (PCL5) than Windows, but I don't really understand why. As the 
vendor Softmaker advertises, its font collection can be used under 
Windows, Linux and OS/2. Considering Linux, there seem to be working 
open source libraries to handle TrueType fonts. Why isn't it possible 
for TeX to use such apparently working open source libraries?

Many greetings,

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