Showing posts with label font. Show all posts
Showing posts with label font. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2008

Finding the right LaTeX font

If you're new to LaTeX, it is highly possible that you end up having to learn far more than you ever wanted to know about fonts.  Personally, apart from a cursory understanding of fonts, I never bothered learning more about fonts in LaTeX.

Too much to learn and very little benefits.  I mean try talking to your colleagues about Arial and Helvetica differences and watch them edge away with "hey, almost missed my meeting, see you".

I jest.

It's not that you need to know that much into fonts in LaTeX but it helps.  But with all packaging done now by TeXLive and MikTeX, there is very little you need to know.

  1. Ask for a font that fits your specific needs in the comp.text.tex newsgroup.  Read the replies, links and FAQs
  2. Download and install from your distribution through the package manager.
That's it;in most cases.   I haven't installed a single font manually in over 6 or 7 years.  That's how well you can manage with the default installation

OR a sign of my laziness as I have NEVER installed a single font manually

In order to save you sometime over agonizing over font choices, you could always check out the LaTeX font catalogue to see whether you like any of the fonts under different categories.  It also provides the methods of using it in your document when you click on a link.

It would also dispel the notion that there aren't enough font choices in LaTeX.  And if you're a neophyte in font taste like me, pretty soon, your eyes glaze over and everything looks the same to you.  Trust me on that.  10 minutes into all that choices, I'm like "What am I looking for?"

But I digress.  Do take a look there to pick a good font for your posters, reports and special needs.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Changing fonts in your LaTeX document

In this discussion on changing fonts on comp.text.tex newsgroup, the reply might be useful in deciding which font to use where.  That is one of my biggest issues with fonts.  I have no taste. :-)

Given a large number of fonts, I'd unerringly chose the one font that would make folks gouge their eyes out with a blunt pencil, I swear.

Assuming what the author wrote is true and people are in general consensus, I'd take those instructions. Not being an expert in Typography, I'm hard pressed to come up with a good explanation of how, what and where different fonts make a good impression.  I used to compile my paper with different font packages to see which one appears good and by the time I tried my fourth font, I'd promptly forget how the first looked like.  Of course, I could have saved each font type and then opened all of them to compare but being the lazy person I am.....

That said, as the thread mentioned, it's better to use the font packages rather than trying to change the individual fonts for specific parts of the document.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

What font is the text in the current buffer?

To know what the font and what the glyph codes are, use C-u C-x = on the current character the point is on. You should see something like

character: i (105, #o151, #x69, U+0069)
charset: ascii (ASCII (ISO646 IRV))
code point: #x69
syntax: w which means: word
category: a:ASCII graphic characters 32-126 (ISO646 IRV:1983[4/0]) l:Latin
buffer code: #x69
file code: #x69 (encoded by coding system windows-1252-unix)
display: by this font (glyph code)
-outline-DejaVu Sans Mono-normal-r-normal-normal-16-120-96-96-c-*-iso8859-1 (#x69)

It can also be invoked as M-x describe-char.