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Re: [Groff] Musings on the adding of fonts

From: P. Alejandro Lopez-Valencia
Subject: Re: [Groff] Musings on the adding of fonts
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:48:29 -0500

At 03:48 a.m. 27/02/2002 +0100, Werner LEMBERG wrote:
> the font, you need a dedicated tool to get at it. The best procedure to
> obtain the needed AFM metrics file from a truetype font is to either use
> ttf2afm (part of the ttf2pk utilities set) [...]

This is not correct.  ttf2afm is part of pdftex.

Is it? I remember having seen in the contrib directory of freetype 1.x.

This is not correct either.  For printing, using TT fonts at high
resolutions the results are equal to Type 1.  Don't intermix this with
screen fonts!  The TT hinting technology is indeed very complicated,
and only recently proper tools (e.g.Microsoft's VOLT) have appeared to
manage this easily.  But Type 1 fonts often sucks too at very low
resolutions -- all the work is delayed to the rasterizer, and the few
hints in a Type 1 font are by far not sufficient to resolve all

I agree with you on this, I was too quick to express an opinion, but I stand by my perception that botching the hinting of a TrueType font, in a way that even affects high resolution printing is very easy. And I've seen some serious cases of such behavior already, particularly when embedding type42 fonts in high resolution PDFs---not with high quality TT fonts, but with freeware or shareware cooked up in Fontographer..

While not as good at low resolution, type1 hinting is easier to fix (can be done by hand with a dissasembler!!!), if using anti-aliasing can give better results on screen that a TrueType of similar quality and at high resolution output, the rasterization is not only faster but faster, as the rendering takes less memory. Well, I the latter is irrelevant unless you are using a postscript printer or a high resolution postscript RIP.

You haven't apparently seen pfaedit's recent additions: It now
contains a scripting language (using pfaedit as a batch processor
without screen output) for exactly such things.

When it comes to UNIX I am a console/data processing type guy. I haven't touched X/Motif in years nor the new windows managers/desktops :) But it is great to know that finally UNIX has a font editing tool in the same quality category as RoboFOG.

Alejandro López-Valencia
[...] every cultured man is a theologician, and to be so
faith isn't needed. (J.L. Borges)

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