[texhax] Justification through glyph variants

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Dec 3 01:21:41 CET 2011

On 2011-12-02 at 12:11:52 +0000, Philip TAYLOR wrote:

 > Joel C. Salomon wrote:
 > > In some older Hebrew books, and in Hebrew calligraphy, a
 > > technique used to align text to the outer margin is stretching
 > > letters.  Certain letters are particularly stretchable; in fact,
 > > Unicode has several "wide letters" encoded in the Alphabetic
 > > Presentation Forms area.
 > >
 > > For reference, compare:
 > >
 > >     א = ﬡ, ד = ﬢ, ה = ﬣ, כ = ﬤ, ל = ﬥ, ם = ﬦ, ר = ﬧ, ת = ﬨ.
 > >
 > > At any rate, is there any way to make (any version of) TeX use
 > > these to help justify lines?
 > I personally know of no way of instructing TeX to consider these
 > when optimising the layout of a paragraph, but Hàn Thế Thành's
 > microtypographic extensions to PdfTeX offer an alternative.  It
 > seems to me that, in an ideal world, what one would actually want
 > is a combination of the two such that given (for example) "ת" and
 > "ﬨ" as the lower- and upper- bound respectively, a variant of
 > Thành's work might usefully interpolate between the two.  What this
 > might add to the complexity of TeX's already complex paragraphing
 > algorithm [2], I do not like to think !

It's a matter of fact that Thành's microtypographic extensions are a
vast improvement.

However, there is no way to interpolate between two glyphs of the same
character.  Another problem is that pdfTeX doesn't support Unicode.
Hence, even if a font provides "wide letters", an enormous amount of
work is required to make them accessible.

I absolutely agree with Arno.  I'm convinced that if there is a
reasonable solution at all, it's definitely LuaTeX.


Reinhard Kotucha                                      Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover                              mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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