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PostScript and TeX

Using PostScript fonts with TeX

In order to use PostScript fonts, TeX needs metric (called TFM) files. Several sets of metrics are available from the archives; for mechanisms for generating new ones, see metrics for PostScript fonts. You also need the fonts themselves; PostScript printers come with a set of fonts built in, but to extend your repertoire you almost invariably need to buy from one of the many commercial font vendors (see, for example, choice of fonts).

If you use LaTeX2e, the best way to get PostScript fonts into your document is to use the PSNFSS package maintained by Sebastian Rahtz and Alan Jeffrey (available in macros/latex/required/psnfss); it's supported by the LaTeX3 project team, so bug reports can and should be submitted. PSNFSS gives you a set of packages for changing the default roman, sans-serif and typewriter fonts; e.g., times.sty will set up Times Roman, Helvetica and Courier in place of Computer Modern, while avant.sty just changes the sans-serif family to AvantGarde. To go with these packages, you will need the font metric files (watch out for encoding problems! see metrics for PostScript fonts) and font description (.fd) files for each font family you want to use. These can be obtained from fonts/psfonts, arranged by vendor (e.g., Adobe, Monotype, etc.). For convenience, metrics for the common `35' PostScript fonts found in most printers are provided with PSNFSS, packaged as macros/latex/packages/psnfss/lw35nfss.zip

For older versions of LaTeX there are various schemes, of which the simplest to use is probably the PSLaTeX macros distributed with dvips.

For plain TeX, you load whatever fonts you like; if the encoding of the fonts is not the same as Computer Modern it will be up to you to redefine various macros and accents, or you can use the font re-encoding mechanisms available in many drivers and in ps2pk and afm2tfm.

Victor Eijkhout's sophisticated Lollipop package (macros/lollipop) supports declaration of font families and styles in a similar way to LaTeX's NFSS, and so is easy to use with PostScript fonts.

Some common problems encountered are discussed elsewhere (see problems with PS fonts).

Previewing files using PostScript fonts

Most TeX previewers only display bitmap PK fonts. If you want to preview documents using PostScript fonts, you have three choices:

  1. Convert the DVI file to PostScript and use a PostScript previewer. Some modern Unix X implementations have this built in (as does NeXT-step); (X11) Unix, Windows, OS/2, and MS-DOS users can use the free Ghostscript (support/ghostscript), a complete level 2 implementation.
  2. Under Windows on a PC, or on a Macintosh, let Adobe Type Manager display the fonts. Textures (Macintosh) works like this, and under Windows you can use Y&Y's dviwindo for bitmap-free previewing. (See commercial suppliers for details.)
  3. If you have the PostScript fonts in Type 1 format, use ps2pk (fonts/utilities/ps2pk) or gsftopk (designed for use with the Ghostscript fonts; fonts/utilities/gsftopk) to make PK bitmap fonts which your previewer will understand. This can produce excellent results, also suitable for printing with non-PostScript devices. Check the legalities of this if you have purchased the fonts. The very commonest PostScript fonts such as Times and Courier come in Type 1 format on disk with Adobe Type Manager (often bundled with Windows, and part of OS/2).

TeX font metric files for PostScript fonts

Font vendors such as Adobe supply metric files for each font, in AFM (Adobe Font Metric) form; these can be converted to TFM (TeX Font Metric) form. The CTAN archives have prebuilt metrics which will be more than enough for many people (fonts/psfonts; beware - this directory is at the root of a huge tree), but you may need to do the conversion yourself if you have special needs or acquire a new font. One important question is the encoding of (Latin character) fonts; while we all more or less agree about the position of about 96 characters in fonts (the basic ASCII set), the rest of the (typically) 256 vary. The most obvious problems are with floating accents and special characters such as the `pounds sterling' sign. There are three ways of dealing with this: either you change the TeX macros which reference the characters (not much fun, and error-prone); or you change the encoding of the font (easier than you might think); or you use virtual fonts to pretend to TeX that the encoding is the same as it is used to. If you use LaTeX2e, it allows for changing the encoding in TeX; read the LaTeX Companion (see TeX-related books) for more details. In practice, if you do much non-English (but Latin script) typesetting, you are strongly recommended to use the fontenc package with option `T1' to select T1 (`Cork') encoding.

Alan Jeffrey's fontinst package (fonts/utilities/fontinst) is an AFM to TFM converter written in TeX; it is used to generate the files used by LaTeX2e's PSNFSS package to support use of PostScript fonts. It is a sophisticated package, not for the faint-hearted, but is powerful enough to cope with most needs. Much of its power relies on the use of virtual fonts.

For slightly simpler problems, Rokicki's afm2tfm, distributed with dvips (dviware/dvips), is fast and efficient; note that the metrics and styles that come with dvips are not currently LaTeX2e compatible, but Karl Berry plans to distribute metrics directly compatible with PSNFSS in his dvipsk package.

For the Macintosh, there is a program called EdMetrics which does the job (and more). It comes with the Textures distribution, but is in fact free software, available as systems/mac/textures/utilities/EdMetrics.sea.hqx

MS-DOS users can buy (see commercial implementations) Y&Y's Font Manipulation Tools package which includes a powerful afmtotfm program among many other goodies.

Problems using PostScript fonts

For the typical LaTeX user trying to use the PSNFSS package, three questions often arise. First, you have to declare to the DVI driver that you are using PostScript fonts; in the case of dvips, this means adding lines to the psfonts.map file. Otherwise, dvips will try to find PK files. If the font isn't built into the printer, you have to acquire it (in many cases this means buying it from a commercial supplier!). You then have to instruct the driver to download it with each job (the mechanism depends on your driver). So it's no good just installing the metrics for Optima and expecting it to work. You have to pay hard cash for the font itself, which will come (for Unix and MS-DOS users) in pfb (Printer Font Binary) form.

Second, you cannot expect your previewer to suddenly start displaying PostScript fonts; most of them only know about PK bitmap fonts such as Computer Modern. ps2pk (fonts/utilities/ps2pk) can create these from the pfb file you have bought; this would also let you use the fonts with non-PostScript device drivers such as the emTeX ones. You are responsible for making sure you are not breaking the licence restrictions on font you bought.

Third, the stretch and shrink between words is a function of the font metric; it is not specified in AFM files, so different converters choose different values. The PostScript metrics that come with PSNFSS used to produce quite tight setting, but they were revised in mid 1995 to produce a compromise between American and European practice. Really sophisticated users may not find even the new the values to their taste, and want to override them. Even the casual user may find more hyphenation or overfull boxes than CMR produces; but CMR is extremely generous.

Choice of scalable outline fonts

If you are interested in text alone, you can use any of over 20,000 fonts(!) in Adobe Type 1 format (called `PostScript fonts' in the TeX world and `ATM fonts' in the DTP world), or any of several hundred fonts in TrueType format. That is, provided of course, that your previewer and printer driver support scalable outline fonts.

TeX itself only cares about metrics, not the actual character programs. You just need to create a TeX metric file TFM using some tool such as afm2tfm, afmtotfm (from Y&Y, see commercial implementations) or fontinst. For the previewer or printer driver you need the actual outline font files themselves (pfa for Display PostScript, pfb for ATM on IBM PC, Mac outline font files on Macintosh).

If you also need mathematics, then you are severely limited by the demands that TeX makes of maths fonts (for details, see the paper by B.K.P. Horn in TUGboat 14(3)). For maths, then, there are relatively few choices:

Computer Modern
(75 fonts - optical scaling) Donald E. Knuth
Note that CM is available in scalable outline form. There are commercial as well as public domain versions, and there are both Adobe Type 1 and TrueType versions. Some of these are `commercial grade,' with full hand-tuned hinting, some render very poorly, while others are merely incompatible with Adobe Type Manager (ATM).
Lucida Bright with Lucida New Math
(25 fonts) Chuck Bigelow and Kris Holmes
Lucida is a family of related fonts including seriffed, sans serif, sans serif fixed width, calligraphic, blackletter, fax, Kris Holmes' connected handwriting font, etc; they're not as `spindly' as Computer Modern, with a large x-height, and include a larger set of maths symbols, operators, relations and delimiters than CM (over 800 instead of 384: among others, it also includes the AMS msam and msbm symbol sets). The planned `Lucida Bright Expert' (14 fonts) adds seriffed fixed width, another handwriting font, smallcaps, bold maths, upright `maths italic', etc., to the set The distribution includes support for use with plain TeX and LaTeX 2.09. Support under LaTeX2e is provided in PSNFSS thanks to Sebastian Rahtz.
MathTime 1.1
(3 fonts) TeXplorators (Michael Spivak)
The set contains maths italic, symbol, and extension fonts, designed to work well with Times-Roman. These are typically used with Times, Helvetica and Courier (which are resident on many printers, and which are supplied with some PC versions). In addition you may want to complement this basic set with Adobe's Times Smallcap, and perhaps the set of Adobe `Math Pi' fonts, which include blackboard bold, blackletter, and script faces. The distribution includes support for use with plain TeX and LaTeX 2.09 (including code to link in Adobe Math Pi 2 and Math Pi 6). Support under LaTeX2e is provided in PSNFSS thanks to Sebastian Rahtz.
Adobe Lucida, LucidaSans and LucidaMath
(12 fonts)
Lucida and LucidaMath are generally considered to be a bit heavy. The three maths fonts contain only the glyphs in the CM maths italic, symbol, and extension fonts. Support for using LucidaMath with TeX is not very good; you will need to do some work reencoding fonts etc. (In some sense this set is the ancestor of the LucidaBright plus LucidaNewMath font set.)
Concrete, the AMS maths fonts etc.
Donald E. Knuth and the AMS.
These are sometimes mentioned as alternatives to CM, but they are really adjuncts, in that you need to use at least the basic CM maths fonts with them.
Proprietary fonts
Various sources.
Since having a high quality font set in scalable outline form that works with TeX can give a publisher a real competitive advantage, there are some publishers that have paid (a lot) to have such font sets made for them. Unfortunately, these sets are not available on the open market, despite the likelihood that they're more complete than those that are.
(4 fonts) Alan Jeffrey.
This set contains maths italic, symbol, extension, and roman virtual fonts, built from Adobe Times, Symbol, Zapf Chancery, and the Computer Modern fonts. The Mathptm fonts are free, and the resulting PostScript files can be freely exchanged. Contains most of the CM math symbols. Support under LaTeX2e in PSNFSS thanks to Alan Jeffrey and Sebastian Rahtz.

(A similar development by Walter Schmidt, using the Adobe Palatino fonts, is available from fonts/mathpple)

All of the first three font sets are available in formats suitable for IBM PC/Windows, Macintosh and Unix/NeXT from Y&Y and from Blue Sky Research (see commercial suppliers for details). The MathTime fonts are also available from:

1572 West Gray #377
Houston TX 77019
The very limited selection of maths font sets is a direct result of the fact that a maths font has to be explicitly designed for use with TeX and as a result it is likely to lose some of its appeal in other markets. Furthermore, the TeX market for commercial fonts is minute (in comparison, for example, to Microsoft TrueType font pack #1, which sold something like 10 million copies in a few weeks after release of Windows 3.1!).

Text fonts in Type 1 format are available from many vendors including Adobe, Monotype, Bitstream. Avoid cheap rip-offs: not only are you rewarding unethical behaviour, destroying the cottage industry of innovative type design, but you are also very likely to get junk. The fonts may not render well (or at all under ATM), may not have the `standard' complement of 228 glyphs, or may not include metric files (needed to make TFM files). Also, avoid TrueType fonts from all but the major vendors. TrueType fonts are an order of magnitude harder to `hint' properly than Type 1 fonts and hence TrueType fonts from places other than Microsoft and Apple may be suspect. In any case you may find other problems with TrueType fonts such as service bureaux not accepting jobs calling for them.

Including a PostScript figure in LaTeX

LaTeX2e has a standard package for graphics inclusion, rotation, colour, and other driver-related features. The package is documented in the second edition of the Lamport's LaTeX book (see TeX-related books), and is available in macros/latex/required/graphics

If you don't use LaTeX2e, perhaps the best method is to use the psfig macros written by Trevor Darrell, available in graphics/psfig

You will also need a DVI to PostScript conversion program that supports the \specials. The drivers mentioned in DVI to PostScript programs do, and come with a version of psfig ready to use with them. The psfig macros work best with Encapsulated PostScript Files (EPS). In particular, psfig will need the file to have a BoundingBox (see Appendix H of the PostScript Language Reference Manual). If you don't have an EPS file, life can be difficult.

One point to note about including PostScript figures is that they are not part of the DVI file, but are only included when you use a DVI to PostScript conversion program. As a result, most DVI previewers will simply show the blank space TeX has reserved for your figure, not the figure itself.

There are two rather good documents on CTAN addressing of figure production with rather different emphasis. Anil K. Goel's, info/figsinltx.ps covers the different ways in which you might generate figures, and one the old (LaTeX 2.09) ways of including them into documents. Keith Reckdahl's, info/epslatex.pdf, covers the standard LaTeX2e facilities, as well as some of the supporting packages, notably subfigure (macros/latex/contrib/supported/subfigure) and psfrag (macros/latex/contrib/supported/psfrag).

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