[NTG-context] how to reduce \lineskiplimit in ConTeXt grid layout

Lars Huttar lars_huttar at sil.org
Fri Nov 15 21:49:49 CET 2013

As you know, in plain TeX, \lineskiplimit tunes the vertical glue
algorithm by specifying the minimum amount of space between the bottom
edge of one line and the top edge of the following line.

But in ConTeXt, it appears that \lineskiplimit is set to zero, at least
in grid mode.
We're using grid mode, and we have some occasional high ascenders, e.g.
capital letters with diacritics on top.
We have bodyfont size 8.1pt, and interlinespace = 9.3pt. We realize this
is less than the recommended ratio of 1.2.

Understandably, when those tall characters occur, we sometimes get a
blank line above them. It looks like the \lineskiplimit would be
violated if the 9.3pt interlinespace were enforced, so ConTeXt adds some
space (analogous to \lineskip in TeX?). But since we're on a grid, more
space has to be added in order to conform to the grid.

All that makes sense, but we would like to be able typeset the lines
closer together, and judge for ourselves whether it looks too bad. (When
we used to typeset the same text at 8.1pt/9.3pt using mkii, blank lines
did not occur.) Is there something similar to \lineskiplimit that we can
tweak? I've been reading section 5.5 Line Spacing in the context ref
manual, but I don't see anything there about changing a threshold
analogous to \lineskiplimit.

I tried setting \lineskiplimit=-2pt, but that caused a worse problem: a
blank line across both columns, instead of just one.

Version: mkiv luatex in Tex Live 2013.

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