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From the beginning Knuth provided TeX with the computer modern family of fonts.
These fonts can be generated, and varied trough Metafont, by adjusting some
parameters. Since the introduction of the virtual font concept, in revision '89
better known as TeX version 3, many industrial fonts can be used as well.
Trough this mechanism, font elements can be combined at the driver level.
The need for handling in a flexible way the positioning of diacritical marks
was the incentive for adding the virtual font concept. The object being to
make it feasible to handle languages with their own special placements of
diacritical marks without the need to regenerate complete new fonts. An other
possibility would be to generate complete font tables for every language,
which is a perfectly acceptable, but will entail many font tables and of larger
However, since TeX is used for more and more applications the need for more
fonts - different shapes, sizes and so on - has emerged. Using standard bitmap
technology much computer memory is needed. To compensate for this the Adobe's
Type 1 outline fonts came along with PostScript.
Outline fonts have the advantage of
Reality has it that scaling fonts linearly does not yield pleasing results. To
compensate for this the hinting technology emerged. The downloading of the fonts to
the printer is done more intelligently nowadays. Only the characters that are used of
the font are downloaded (this is called partial font downloading).
- rasterization is done by the output device (e.g. PostScript printer)
- resolution independence
Font markup has gotten a new dimension too: the linear space of available fonts is
seen as a more-dimensional space governed by the coordinates family, serie, shape,
and size. The approach goes with the buzzword nfss, New Font Selection Scheme.
(See `The LaTeX companion.)
Which fonts can be used with TeX?
The following classes of text fonts can be used with TeX
(Very) few fonts can be used with math, because of the specialties of the font
characteristics TeX assumes. However, the following fonts can be used with
- cm, the native Computer Modern
- many thousands of fonts in industry standard Adobe Type 1
- several thousands in formats such as TrueType.
For more details see Horn's Scalable outline fonts paper, and for Japanese Fujiura in
ttn 1, 2.
- cm math, the native Computer Modern
- Lucida math
- Lucida newmath
And what about color?
Coupled to PostScript (La)TeX can yield results in color. Together with Adobe's
illustrator or CorelDraw these color figures can be edited and included in (La)TeX as
an epsf figure.
Drivers for Deskjet color printers are also available.
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