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From the Editor: In this issue: Fonts

Lance Carnes

In this issue: Fonts

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Issue 2006-1 is the first issue of the PracTeX Journal's second year. For this issue we tried announcing a "fonts" theme and were pleasantly surprised at the number of high-quality articles received. Many who use TeX have probably never used anything beyond the default fonts, while some may have tried \usepackage{times} but may not have tried \usepackage{palatino}. Hopefully, after perusing the articles in this issue, you will become more comfortable using new fonts and techniques.

The lead off article is Typographic Opportunities by Tamye Riggs of SOTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados). She gives an overview of the world of digital type, offers some tips for beginning and experienced users, and lists numerous resources. We contacted Tamye to provide an article and a font quiz, and she and her colleagues at SOTA provided everything we asked for and more — for the font quiz they even donated a valuable prize. If you would like to know more about type and type design, consider joining SOTA or attending the TypeCon conference, to be held this summer in Boston.

We are fortunate to have an article on LaTeX font usage by Walter Schmidt, who has been a major contributor to the TeX community in the area of fonts. In this article he answers some frequently-asked font questions, such as how to use the basic font selection commands and how to change the default fonts for a document.

Gerben C. Th. Wierda, Thomas A. Schmitz and Adam T. Lindsay describe font usage in Mac OS X Fonts in pdfTeX. This article decribes automated font installation with a Mac-based TeX system, but their techniques apply to other host systems as well. (Also see previous font-related articles by Schmitz and Lindsay.)

In Michael Spivak's The MathTimeProfessional Fonts we learn about the events and requirements that led this mathematician and math publisher to design the popular MathTime Professional fonts. Those who have read his beautifully typeset books or used his fonts for their own publications will be curious to know how and why he became a font designer. He concludes his article wistfully hoping this is the end of the font design era in his life, but I suspect he will be back with new designs in coming years.

Will Robertson writes about the relatively new set of Latin Modern fonts, a large collection of fonts for typesetting documents in many languages. The creators of these fonts, Bogusław Jackowski and Janusz M. Nowacki, intend this font collection to be the successor to Donald Knuth's Computer Modern fonts.

For those who need to use Asian fonts in their documents Helmer Aslaksen describes Using the CJK LaTeX Package, including how to install it, how to enter text, and other nuances of this package. The CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) package, developed by Werner Lemberg, is widely used and this article provides a useful introduction to it, with several sample documents.

Stephen Hartke's Survey of Free Math Fonts shows numerous math font examples, showing how various math and text fonts combine in the same document. He shows where you can obtain the fonts and how to use them.

David Walden's popular Travels in TeX Land column describes his experiences buying, installing, and beginning to use the Lucida fonts. A good read for those who are "font shy", as David admits he was before writing this piece. Ask Nelly answers some commonly-asked questions about TeX font usage. And finally, for those who like puzzles and challenges, Distractions offers a few font quizzes with valuable prizes including fonts, books, and CDs. You can also read about the winners of last issue's Sudoku contests and see their solutions, including two TeX-based sudoku solvers!

PracTeX Journal readers provided insightful feedback. As you read the articles and columns please use the response links to send comments. If you use a technique from an article or column, be sure to contact the author and report how it worked for you. The PracTeX Journal is still evolving and your feedback will help us as we strive to improve it.

Next Issue

The 2006-2 issue will not have a theme and we will be accepting articles on any topic. If you would like to contribute an article or technical note on any aspect of LaTeX, TeX, or ConTeXt, please send an article outline to
the editors.

Although many of the articles published by The PracTeX Journal are formatted with LaTeX, TeX, or ConTeXt, it would be nice to see more submissions written in straight text or in html (as your editor does). Brief technical notes, techniques that might be useful to others, or an account of how you tried to use something and (hopefully) eventually succeeded, are welcome.


The Editorial Board and I want to thank the authors, columnists, and Ask Nelly answerers for their excellent pieces which make this journal possible. We also want to thank those who worked behind the scenes:

Reviewers and copy editors: Karl Berry, Jin-Hwan Cho, David L. Elliott, Baden Hughes, Werner Lemberg, John O'Rourke, Will Robertson, Thomas Schmitz, William Slough, Juan Luis Varona, David Walden, and Candy Yiu.

Production editors: Will Robertson, William Slough, and Paul Thompson.

See also other key people who make this publication possible.

And special thanks to the companies who donated prizes for the font quizzes in the Distractions column: Publish or Perish, Inc., Bigelow & Holmes Inc., SOTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados), and FontShop.

And finally, be sure to attend Practical TeX 2006, a workshop and conference being held this summer at Rutgers University in New Jersey. You'll meet other PracTeX Journal readers there, and learn first-hand about using LaTeX, TeX, and ConTeXt.

Lance Carnes

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