[pdftex] Pale print with Adobe Reader

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Thu Mar 8 18:05:23 CET 2007

On 3/8/07, Rodolfo Medina <rodolfo.medina at gmail.com> wrote:

> [...]
> > For most implementations, the default will be some derivative of the
> > Computer Modern fonts.  Certainly the CM fonts have quite narrow
> > stokes when compared to more widely used fonts, but that is by design.
> >
> > If you just want "darker" fonts, there are many font families that can
> > be used with pdftex.
> > Most current TeX distributions support a number of free font families,
> > and there are commercial fonts suitable for use with pdftex.
> Well, could you maybe suggest some, and how to put them into my document?

If you can't answer the questions about the fonts that are used in the pdf file
from the information in Adobe Reader and the log files, you have no
way of knowing
whether your problem is with the design of the fonts or with your
pdftex configuration, and you won't be able to verify that any new
configuration is working properly.

Look at <http://tug.org/fonts/> for extensive comparisons and
discussion of fonts
in TeX.

When choosing fonts, there are a number of issues to consider:

1.  do you need extensive mathematics support?  If not, you can consider the
Adobe "base" fonts or even the "laserwriter 35" fonts, for which good quality
"clone" versions are freely available (e.g., with ghostscript).  Adobe
used to provide the "base" fonts with the "reader" program, but over
the years they have switched the
fonts provided with the "reader", so it becomes important to be able
to distinguish between fonts embedded in the pdf file and fonts
supplied by the "reader" program.

2.  does your budget allow you to purchase fonts?  The Lucida family
<http://tug.org/lucida/> is inexpensive, well supported (in LateX and ConTeXt),
and has a useful set of math glyphs.   The Mathtime family is more of
a compromise
for people who want maths in documents visually compatible with others
created with the widely used Times-Roman family.

3.  will you be distributing pdf files, sending them to a publisher,
etc.?  If so, you need to
worry about license conditions, or stick with fonts included in the
free distributions
(TeX Live, MikTeX, various linux distributions)

4.  which tex format (plain.fmt, latex.fmt, cont-xx.fmt, etc) do you
want to use?

Setting up fonts can be a lot of work.  For an example, look at the
mathtime-pln package on CTAN.   Many people have provide
configurations for LaTeX or ConTeXt, so switching fonts is often
simply a matter of editing a couple lines in your document preamble.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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