[texhax] Defining a new font in Plain Tex

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Wed Jan 13 10:02:31 CET 2010

Am Wed, 13 Jan 2010 00:58:27 +0100 schrieb Reinhard Kotucha:

>  >  \font \defaultfont = Optima at 20pt
>  >  kpathsea: Running mktexmf Optima.mf
>  >  Cannot find Optima.mf.
>  > 
>  > Fortunately my second attempt was more successful :
>  > 
>  >      \font \defaultfont = "Palatino Linotype" at 20pt
>  > 
>  > and I am now motivated to continue.  The obvious difference
>  > between Optima and Palatino Linotype is that the former
>  > is in Type-1 format whilst the latter is in Truetype; are
>  > there problems (surmountable or otherwise) associated with
>  > the use of Type-1 fonts with XeTeX ?
> Hi Phil,
> as far as I understand, your assumption is correct.

No, xetex can handle type1 fonts without problem. As Jonathon
pointed out on the xetex mailing list, the problem here are the
missing quotes:

"Use quote marks:  \font\defaultfont = "Optima" at 20pt

XeTeX supports both TFM-based files and "native"
TrueType/OpenType/Type1 fonts on the platform. It should try both,
if necessary, before finally giving up; but in the case where it
tries TFM first, the result (if you have mktextfm, etc., enabled)
can be a lot of unpleasant messages as those subsidiary tools fail.
But if you quote the font name, it takes this as a hint to try for a
platform font first.

So "best practice" is to ALWAYS quote font names, except when you
really mean to use a traditional TFM file." 

Ulrike Fischer 

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