Fonts Help

Peter Flynn peter at
Fri Aug 7 21:08:13 CEST 2020

On 07/08/2020 18:41, Philip Taylor wrote:
> [...] It is simply that I feel that "most users" could (and perhaps
> should) have higher aspirations.
That would be a benefit to all. Unfortunately a lot of people are simply 
uninterested in what goes on under the covers.

> XeTeX is the Lamborghini, LaTeX is the Puffing Billy.

Lovely :-) XeLaTeX is perhaps the TGV.

On 07/08/2020 18:49, Jim Diamond via texhax wrote:
> [...] for any "default" that some LaTeX setup (document style,
> packages, ...) gives you is not what you want, trying to change it
> can take you down the rabbit-hole of completely inscrutable LaTeX
> code, and trying to change it may be more work than if you had
> learned (plain) TeX in the first place. (This was my experience, I
> tried LaTeX before I started using plain TeX.)
I went the other way round, having started using TeX before LaTeX came 
along. And this was why I delayed so long before moving to LaTeX. The 
documentation was mostly written for document class designers, not 
users, and packages were written to solve one highly specific edge case, 
rather than the generality of common cases.

When that changed, and LaTeX 2.09 was replaced by LaTeX2ε, I felt it was 
right to move, as the vast majority of our work is very much 
middle-of-the-road publishing. If you are in the position of needing 
solutions to edge cases on a frequent basis, then LaTeX will not offer 
you as much as writing your own code in TeX will.

> Having said that, there is always this nagging thought at the back
> of my head to learn ConTeXt, since I think it may have the best of
> both worlds.

ConTeXt produces beautiful documents but it involves an even greater 
placement of trust in the authors. It's a bit like using a Mac: does the 
job beautifully but only if you place your hand on your heart and 
promise faithfully that you will only ever want to do it their way.

On 07/08/2020 18:25, Boris Veytsman wrote:
> This means that plain TeX recognizes the same types of font formats
> as LaTeX if the proper engine is used: > 1.  pdftex and pdflatex recognize MF and Type 1 fonts (nowadata
>     latex is usually pdflatex)
> 2.  xetex, luatex, xelatex, lualatex recognize MF, Type 1, True Type 
>     and Open Type fonts.
Yes, quite right: all later engines do everything previous ones did.


More information about the texhax mailing list.