[texhax] Font Size Question

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Thu Jun 24 10:05:47 CEST 2010

On  23 Jun, 2010, at 22:03, Reinhard Kotucha wrote:

>>>> [...]
>
> Even if it's mentioned in "The LaTeX Companion" I don't see any good
> reason to bother a casual user with such low-level stuff.
>
>> Well ---the only thing the OP needs is to ensure that the smallest
>> font size in his document is 7pt,
>
> \let\tiny\relax  (or better, \errmessage)
>
> I fear that redefining \tiny has no impact on math formulas.

Well ---if it bothers you so much, I can advise Thomas to forget all about \tiny (not even \relax ing it) and use a new command:

\documentclass[12pt]{book}
\newcommand{\mytinysize}{\fontsize{7pt}{8pt}\selectfont}
\begin{document}
Normal size in 12pt. {\mytinysize This should be in 7pt.} And 12pt again.
\end{document}

>> to comply with some in-house rule established by people who usually
>> don't know anything about typography.
>
> Why do you assume that they don't know anything about typography?
> They noticed that fonts smaller than 7pt are incomprehensible.  This
> is a reasonable decision.  At least unless the fonts used are
> especially designed for this particular size.  And only Knuth's fonts
> support "design sizes".

Legibility depends sometimes more on the font design than on point size ---I typeset a book with Lucida fonts using 9pt for main text (that is, for \normalsize) with a 30pc text width; whereas 9pt in MinionPro is hardly OK for footnotes. You can't specify a minimum point size in general ---you have to specify minimum point sizes per font family.

A few months back, we had in this list a similar but more annoying problem caused by a bureaucrat ignorant of typography ---the author was told to use 12pt for his text, but said bureaucrat (obviously checking the document with Acrobat) told him it wasn't right ---he was using 11.96pt instead of 12pt! Martin Schröder solved the problem advising the use of bp, instead of pt. As the solution redefines \normalsize, you might not like it :)

http://tug.org/pipermail/texhax/2010-February/014318.html

Best

Axel