[XeTeX] selecting font size

Wilfred van Rooijen wvanrooijen at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 16 15:04:59 CEST 2010

And for those of us who are relatively new to LaTeX: latex can produce various "classes"  of documents, like an article, report, book, etc. Each class is specific for certain purposes, and features default setup etc.

There are several "standard" latex classes, i.e. article, report, and book (if memory serves me right). These classes are fine for most purposes, like PhD theses, MSc theses, manuscripts for journals, conference papers, book, etc. But there are some limitations. One of the limitations is the font size. Unlike Word etc, latex has no "font size". Rather, a font is a complete family of related characters, such as normal letters, math symbols, small caps, bold, slanted, italic, what have you. Because the shapes, line thickness etc between all these different shapes vary in a detailed manner to produce the same "weight" of a character in whatever shape, the sizes of these character sets are limited. Contrary to Word etc, in the latex world (originally) a font at size 9 is in fact a different font from size 12, not just a scaled version.

Thus the standard classes feature a very limited number of font sizes. There is a special document class called "memoir", which can basically be used to typeset anything. The memoir class features many more font sizes than the original classes. Personally, I use memoir for everything. It is really not at all difficult to use. In fact, it is sometimes easier to use memoir than the standard classes, because memoir has a lot of things built-in, for which otherwise you'd have to hunt down some style file.

Hope this helps,

--- On Fri, 16/4/10, Herbert Schulz <herbs at wideopenwest.com> wrote:

> From: Herbert Schulz <herbs at wideopenwest.com>
> Subject: Re: [XeTeX] selecting font size
> To: "Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms" <xetex at tug.org>
> Date: Friday, 16 April, 2010, 9:25 PM
> On Apr 16, 2010, at 4:19 AM, David J. Perry wrote:
> >> 
> >> (Could be memoir offers more.)
> > 
> > Indeed it does offer many more font size
> options.  My personal recommendation is to start
> learning memoir (it's a big, complicated thing) if you often
> need to produce documents with a complex layout.  The
> common LaTeX classes are pretty useless for that sort of
> thing.  Using memoir avoids the need to use a number of
> additional packages since complete control over things like
> headers, multiple columns, etc. is provided by the class.
> > 
> > David 
> > 
> Howdy,
> I really wanted to use memoir but I mostly write articles
> using (a variant of) the article class and memoir's
> emulation of the article class still had leading chapter
> numbers (0, of course) in section numbers, etc. Maybe that
> can be changed but I found it discouraging.
> Good Luck,
> Herb Schulz
> (herbs at wideopenwest dot com)
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