[tex-live] Bug#773668: okular shows "jumping" letters in pdf documents generated using pdflatex with russian babel

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Wed Dec 24 01:28:24 CET 2014


    [Wearing the FreeType maintainer hat] 

[wearing a TeX user hat]

    Unfortunately, FreeType's weakest point is the hinting of Type1
    fonts.  While CFF fonts are handled extremely well due to the new
    engine contributed by Adobe,

Well, given your statements, I feel the need to report having the exact
opposite experience, when it comes to Computer Modern and similar.  Not
that I expect you to magically solve it, but FYI ...

The xpdf viewer uses the freetype rasterization engine, and when Derek
(Noonburg, the author/maintainer of xpdf, as I expect you know) started
using the new Adobe engine in version 3.04, the result is that CM fonts
are rasterized much darker, to the point of nearly appearing to be bold
fonts.  (I looked around in my sources to see if that was in fact
happening before I realized where the problem was.)

Attached are two PDF files, cover3.pdf and cover4.pdf.  cover4.pdf is
(FYI) generated by running tex | dvips | ps2pdf, and the xpdf-3.04
bin32-linux binary from the xpdf download page renders the text
noticeably darker than previously.  The 3.0.3 xpdf binary (and all
previous version) renders it as expected.

tb110capsule.pdf, in contrast, is generated directly by pdftex and the
3.04 binary renders it as expected, as does the 3.03.  

What Derek said was:

> FreeType switched to using a new rasterizer for CFF (Type 1C) fonts,
> donated by Adobe:
> http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2013/05/got-cff.html
> One of the side effects is that CFF fonts appear darker.
> Just to clarify -- cover4.pdf uses CFF fonts, while tb110capsule.pdf
> uses Type 1 fonts.

In other mail, Derek showed me examples of CJK output where the new
rasterizer unquestionably does a much better job.  But not CM.  (He also
mentioned that he might be able to do gamma corrections at the xpdf
level to improve stuff, but probably not get back to the original

Another unnecessary complication is gs encapsulating the perfectly good
Type 1 fonts into CFF; avoiding that would also have avoided the
problem.  Sigh.  Newer is not always better.


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