[texhax] [tex-fonts] cambria math

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Sat Oct 27 00:48:34 CEST 2007

Has anyone else been clobbered by the discovery that Adobe Acrobat 8 
tacitly suppresses all ligature glyphs of the fi, fl, ff, ffi, and ffl 
sort and displays blanks in their place.  They do this without warning, 
so that a file which displays perfectly well in Acrobat 7 is made 
unreadable in Acrobat 8. 

I do not see any justification for this arbitrary arrogance.   It is 
probably necessary to degrade the appearance of fonts this way in XML, 
which explicitly abjures any aesthetic concerns, but there is absolutely 
no excuse for it in PDF that is sent out for display only. 

After a happy interlude when some of the horrors of the 70s and 80s were 
left behind us, we are being forced back into the procrustean world of 
the ITC, with its exaggerated x-heights and stubby ascenders.  In time 
we will be required to abandon everything but generic serif 
(Souvenir---nice short ascenders) and generic sans-serif (Helvetica or 
one of its clones).   That is where content-only protocols must 
eventually lead. 

I do not see, however, why PDF, which was able until 2006 to display 
quality fonts with ligatures, should be subject to this sort of 
degradation.  If there is one thing that PDF most definitely is not, it 
is a content-based protocol.

Pierre MacKay

More information about the texhax mailing list