[NTG-pdftex] Extensions to \font syntax ?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Dec 7 06:57:16 CET 2008


Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) writes:
 > Dear Thanh / PdfTeX team --
 > 
 > Has any consideration ever been given to the idea
 > of extending the syntax of TeX's \font command
 > within the context (small "c") of PdfTeX ?
 > 
 > What I have in mind are the following :
 > 
 > 	\font \cmex = cmex10 rotated <angle>
 > 	\font \cmex = cmex10 translated <matrix>

Hi Phil,
I like such a feature too.  But there are some technical problems.
Type 1 fonts have a font matrix which can be altered when a font is
loaded.  It's quite easy to change the matrix in order to slant,
rotate, ... a font.  But pdftex also supports TrueType fonts which are
lacking a font matrix.

It doesn't mean that pdftex isn't able to do what you propose, but
it's nontrivial.  It has to alter the so-called PDF text matrix.  
But this sounds easier than it is.

I made a similar suggestion a few years ago.  I modified the text
matrix of a PDF file in order to slant an upright font and posted the
resulting PDF file to the mailing list.  I asked whether pdftex can't
do something similar.  I got a response from Mark Wicks, the author of
dvipdfm.  He said: "Your example is too simple."  He had been right,
things turned out to be much more difficult than I expected.

And changing the matrix isn't sufficient.  You'll certainly have to
adapt the .tfm files.  All this doesn't look like a weekend project.

Regards,
  Reinhard

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