[tex-live] Metafont: DVI and PDF trouble

Zdenek Wagner zdenek.wagner at gmail.com
Tue Mar 10 23:14:09 CET 2009

2009/3/10 Thomas Hühn <xf27 at arcor.de>:
> Hi

> And how do I get better resolution printouts, I suppose I need a
> higher-resolution grey font?
If you want better printout with bitmap fonts, you must know not only
the exact resolution of your printer but also the size and shape of
the pixels so that you can set proper corrections. This is done in the
"modes". Do not assume that the font optimized for one printer will
look well on another printer, it may be good but may not. If you
generate fonts with higher resolution, it does not mean that the
result will be better. Especially remember that PDF viewer were
designed for speed, not for quality of screen preview. Hinting is in
the MF source, not in the bitmap, thus the viewer can round the
strokes to the nearest pixel, not to the optimal pixel. If you zoom
your page on the screen, you change the effective resolution, thus if
you wish perfect display, you must generate new fonts in the
appropriate resolution and crete PDF with these new fonts. Old OS/2
and DOS DVI viewers, dvipm and dvisrc, supported only several discrete
zoom factors all of which were compatible with the base font
resolution. Moreover, they supported just a very simple graphics (no
EPS, no colour) so that they could afford to improve the shapes of the
characters by antialiasing and still worked quickly. Do not assume
that a bitmap font may be portable between devices, it never was and
never will be. Back some 15 years ago when I used bitmap fonts I had 3
sets of them: one for preview on screen (in dvipm), one for printing
on my printer for proof-reading, and one for a phototypesetter.

> Thanks
> Thomas

Zdeněk Wagner

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