# [pdftex] Suggestion: Know about Postscript Fonts?

ivo welch ivowel at gmail.com
Mon Oct 13 21:12:16 CEST 2008

When pdftex cannot locate a font, it falls back to the old metafont
system.  Would it make sense for our pdf-centric pdftex program to
first try a fallback to a postscript font (pf[ab] and afm) in the
kpsewhich path, before it falls back to meta font?

Now that I have struggled with postscript font installation for a week
(and have it basically working), I really wonder why I cannot simply
place my postscript fonts into a directory

\$ ls /usr/local/texmf-local/fonts/postscript/
cp30c.pfb cp30c.afm

and thus if
\$ kpsewhich cp30c.pfb
/usr/local/texmf-local/fonts/postscript/cp30c.pfb
\$ kpsewhich cp30c.afm
/usr/local/texmf-local/fonts/postscript/cp30c.afm
then
\font\testfont = cp30c at 12pt
\testfont Hello
\bye
should just pdftex just fine.  ok, I don't know how to learn the
encoding (.enc) file; but if I did, then the tfm file could be
generated on the fly, as could a postscript.map file, and it could be
enabled for the current run.

I don't think it would break the karl berry scheme.  if someone does
not want to use this method, then one should simply not have the font
file in the kpsewhich path.  similarly, if there are multiple versions
of the font, either one could abandon, or just use the first version
from kpsewhich.  Maybe it would make more sense to have a pdftex
switch that one could set whether pdftex should first try to identify
a font reference via this "raw postscript font" method, or whether the
program should first try to match a karl berry name.

In any case, it would save users a lot of grief.

[yes, Robin, I have been told that font installation is a black art,
that makes this impossible.]

/iaw