[texhax] Awful looking output

Uwe Lück uwe.lueck at web.de
Thu Oct 15 20:10:44 CEST 2009

Sorry, my below was a /question/: sure that TeX does any kerning in $WH$? (/?/)

Another question: does anybody know typesetting programs that treat slanted 
symbols as parallelograms rather than rectangles?

-- Uwe.

At 13:20 14.10.09, Uwe Lück wrote:
>At 06:30 13.10.09, Oleg Katsitadze wrote:
>>On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 01:13:32PM -0400, Michael Barr wrote:
>> > Try this:
>> > $HW=WH$
>> >
>> > Don't TeX's kerning tables usually do a better job than this.
>>Well, that's the kerning for the math italic font.
>At 02:44 14.10.09, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
>>On 13 October 2009 Michael Barr wrote:
>>  > All this is true, but the point was that you should not put math formulas
>>  > in \mathit (which is for italic text) or, at any rate, you should not 
>> have
>>  > to do so.  It is arguable that it was the WH that was wrong since there
>>  > was not enough space and it looked like text, not math mode.  Whatever,
>>  > TeX is supposed to work out the spacing automatically and doesn't.
>>No.  Kerning tables have nothing to do with TeX at all.  They are font
>>specific.  TeX uses whatever is in the .tfm files, regardless where
>>they come from.
>Are all of you sure that TeX uses any kerning table in $HW=WH$. Please 
>look at Appendix G of the TeXbook, "Generating Boxex from Formulas".
>My impression is that TeX does /not/ do any kerning here -- because it 
>would be a bad idea. Kerning is good within words and only there. Kerning 
>between two letters that are to represent a product or a composition would 
>be confusing, making the misleading impression the two letters formed an 
>/atomic/ name with an own meaning, similar to, e.g., "mod" or (in category 
>theory) "ker".
>On the other hand, I think there /is/ something awful here: the way TeX 
>deals with slanted symbols and fonts. Same problem with $\overline{H}$ and 
>that you sometimes have to deal with italic corrections (setting them with 
>plainTeX or avoiding them with LaTeX). TeX treats a slanted symbol as a 
>/box/ (|box|), a /rectangle/ (|rectangle|). This is why $WH$ is wider than 
>$HW$ (slanted "W" has its leftmost "dot" at its top, "H" at its bottom). 
>Wouldn't it be nicer if it treated it as a /parallelogram/? 
>(/parallelogram/ indeed!) Trying to set them as close as possible?
>   Uwe.
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