[XeTeX] Arial and Times New Roman license?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Wed Dec 23 13:44:57 CET 2009

On Tue, Dec 22, 2009 at 8:47 PM, Wilfred van Rooijen
<wvanrooijen at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Hi,
>> I could add, that in university for my thesis it was
>> actually required to use
>> exactly those fonts, so on Linux there is a good reason to
>> grab such an
>> opportunity in that case.
> Haha. From all the strange requirements put on university theses (and other "formatted documents") I have seen in my life, this is by far the strangest :-)) Instructions for font size, line spacing, margins, page layout etc can usually be justified, but being instructed to use a particular font from a particular vendor sounds a bit like micro-management to me. I am just wondering: what happens if you include a graph made for instance with Matlab, which uses a non-allowed font for the axes labels etc?
> Regards,
> Wilfred

Using "a particular font from a particular vendor" is the only way to
ensure electronic documents that don't embed fonts
will be useful for some time to come while preserving a consistent
appearance.   These sorts of rules were common
when using PostScript.  PDF was supposed to make things better because
the base 13 fonts were to be provided
by the viewer, but then Adobe made some substitutions that created
problems for some documents (Helvetica Oblique vs Arial Italic), so
just when it looked like it would be safe to relax the rules,
counterexamples appeared.

Theses and many government documents need to be preserved for all
eternity.  Paper copies don't last that well, but
with electronic storage it should be possible to produce paper copies
when needed for decades to come.   For that to
work, you need to ensure that the fonts will be available in the font
technologies being used 2000 years from now.  The
chances for success are much better if the document used widely
available fonts, and if there are large collections of
historical documents that use the same set of fonts, then the effort
to implement the fonts (which by then will be
of interest only to scholars because normal documents will use
alphabets that don't exist today) in the current technology can be
amortized across a larger base.

> PS yes, I understand that there must be some rules on the font type, to prevent people from submitting scientific work in Comic Sans Serif - although I have seen that happen at a well-known national research institute in a respectable European country.

Pity the poor scholar trying to make sense of that.  How many of the
historical documents people are trying to decipher today were written
using some idiosyncratic set of glyphs not shared with other

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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