[NTG-pdftex] Can PdfTeX vary font weight ?

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Dec 20 00:59:46 CET 2008

Philip TAYLOR (Ret'd) writes:
 > Reinhard Kotucha wrote:
 >  > Well, the easiest solution is to use another font.  I suppose that
 >  > Phil insists on Computer Modern in order to honor Knuth's work.
 > No, Phil is lazy and is working in Plain TeX, in which the use of
 > anything other than the CM family is more complex.
It depends.  As someone who enjoys beautiful fonts I recommend to try
some other ones, especially those designed by Hermann Zapf.

It's certainly more complex to change the fonts in Plain TeX, but
there are at least two packages you can use.  The first one is ofs,
the second one is plnfss.  Use texdoc to browse the documentation.

I don't know much about ofs but I assume it's still actively
maintained.  The development of plnfss is frozen, bugs reported by
users will be fixed, though. 

 >  > But if (and only if) you exactly know that the only output device is
 >  > an HP CP1215 colour laserprinter, there is no reason to use so-called
 >  > "scalable fonts" at all.  You can instruct metafont to create
 >  > optimized bitmap fonts for exactly that output device.  And as far as I
 >  > remember there is even a variable called "blacker"...
 > But PdfTeX does not use PK fonts, does it ?

Yes, if there is no entry for a particular Type1 font in updmap.cfg,
then metafont will try to create one.  I'm sure you noticed it
already.  Sometimes it happens that you accidentally load a font which
doesn't exist (and therefore has no map entry):

 | $ pdftex '\relax\font\f=cmrrrrr10  \f hello\bye'
 | This is pdfTeXk, Version 3.1415926-1.40.9 (Web2C 7.5.7)
 |  %&-line parsing enabled.
 | entering extended mode
 | kpathsea: Running mktextfm cmrrrrr10
Anyway, if Phil is lazy, Type1 fonts are better for him because
adapting a metafont mode is really quite painful. Hans' approach is
fine and very convenient.

There is one question though:  Is a font modified this way still hinted?  


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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