[tex4ht] [bug #241] grave accent letter ` (hex 60) changes to left single quotation mark (hex 0xE2 0x80 0x98)

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Sat Jan 17 00:03:52 CET 2015

Hi Nasser and all,

I don't think it would be right to change cmtt10.htf.  What is at
position 0x60 of cmtt10 is, in fact, a directed left quote, not a grave
accent.  The fact that the standards committees screwed over all us
helpless users by making that plain ASCII character into a useless
standalone accent does not change Knuth's fonts.

What's in the PDF file has to correspond to the fonts used by the
document.  Now, what gets copied/pasted from a PDF is another matter
entirely.  Different viewers do different things there.

I realize full well that when you insert an ASCII 0x60, what you
presumably see on your screen is a grave accent (I don't, but that's
another story).  I realize full well that that is what ASCII defined at
that position.  But that is not what TeX (or, more precisely, the cm
fonts) does (do), by default, and therefore tex4ht follows suit.  That
seems undoubtedly the correct behavior to me.

So, if you want to change it, you should change it at the TeX level, and
then tex4ht should do what you want.  Michal explained how to do that
for LaTeX.  (Aside: In Texinfo, I created all kinds of stupid options so
people could get the stupid grave accent in their output, etc.  As I
expect you're aware, there is a similar issue with 0x47 being a directed
right quote in CM and a useless straight quote in the standards.)


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