[texhax] Re: [Fontinst] On the proper look of the \AA

Vladimir Volovich vvv at vsu.ru
Fri Jan 16 19:15:42 CET 2004

The following message is a courtesy copy of an article
that has been posted to comp.text.tex as well.

"LH" == Lars Hellström writes:

 >> 3) The fontinst package contains some code to put the ring close
 >> to A (the glyph ringfitted defined in latin.mtx, and used in
 >> ot1.etx).  (and this package is meant to be used for installation
 >> of "arbitrary" fonts)

 LH> This is mostly because the (implicit) definition of the OT1
 LH> encoding made in ot1enc.def, since the definition of the OT1
 LH> \r{A} (\AA is obsolete notation in LaTeX) assumes that the width
 LH> of the ring glyph is equal to that of the A glyph. In other
 LH> words, this is effect, not cause.

agreed; BTW maybe the t1.etx should also use the ringfitted: it will
not cause any harm, when applied as an accent, and will "survive" the
trick too (though this trick is not used in T1 encoding); e.g. EC fonts
have ring's width equal to the width of A.

 >> 5) my memories about the look of the Angstrom sign in the books
 >> suggest that it should be written as plain TeX does it.
 >> Arguments against the close placement of the ring (from Alexander
 >> Lebedev and Lars Engebretsen) state that from aesthetic reasons
 >> the ring should be put on the same height as other accents.

 LH> This might actually be the reason to _make_ it touch the
 LH> A. Recall that accents over capitals are usually quite close to
 LH> the letter (closer than in the case of lower case letters). Also
 LH> note that the height of the ring in many fonts is significantly
 LH> larger than that of the dieresis. Vertically centering them both
 LH> on the same axis may well result in the ring touching the A.

is it "desired" that the ring touches the A?

note that the design of the ring accent in the EC fonts as a separate
glyph and the ring used in Aring is somewhat different: the ring in
Aring is "the real ring", while the ring accent is really an ellipse;
but it looks like the height of Aring pre-built glyph and A with the
ring accent (using \accent) is the same (as can be seen from the latex
example i posted in my original message). This is not so in CM fonts:
the "artificial" aring has smaller height and ring looks closer to A
than in other accented letters.

so the questions are:

1) is it acceptable/desirable to have the ring in Aring placed closer
   to A than in other accented letters?

2) shall the artificial accent placement be applied to other combinations
   of capital letters and accents on the level of encoding definition

3) you wrote: "Vertically centering them both on the same axis may
   well result in the ring touching the A" - but what i'd like to know
   is whether the ring SHOULD be touching the A (not MAY).

 >> 2) is this rationale only a design decision of the Computer Modern
 >> fonts, or it can be applied to other font families? I.e., shall
 >> the ring in the Aring glyph be put with a gap of the same widths
 >> as all other accents, or it is preferred to use "gap-less" Aring?

 LH> This is probably nothing CM-specific.

I.e., do you mean that "gap-less" Aring is considered to be the best
practice of using of this letter in Scandinavian languages and/or in
physical literature?


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