Re: Fonts

From: Adam Twardoch (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2006 - 07:47:01 CST

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    Hans Aberg wrote:
    > There are the Computer Modern and AMSFonts in PostScript Outline Form
    available at <>, developed by Blue Sky Research
    and Y&Y. I wonder what it might take to make Unicode fonts out of these
    - there is probably some xopyright issue involved. But these fonts
    produce very good math results, and it seems unnecessary work to develop
    a wholly new fonts.

    First of all, I don’t agree with the thesis that since existing fonts
    provide "very good" results, there is no need to develop new fonts. Both
    Computer Modern and the AMS fonts are heavily flawed and have some
    serious typographic problems. In general, CM is not really very suitable
    for offset printing (since it is too thin), the quality of diacritic
    characters is very questionable etc.

    Also, these fonts, just like the AMS fonts, lack many characters, for
    example properly drawn Cyrillic. Typesetting math mixed with English may
    be fine with them, but if you’re trying to typeset even just Czech, not
    mentioning Russian or Greek, you run into problems (mostly, the Greek
    characters in those fonts are optimized for math, not for Greek text).

    As many of you know, typesetting mathematics is more complicated than
    setting regular text. Just providing some glyphs in the SMP is not enough.

    Cambria Math is a font that includes a special OpenType table ("MATH")
    that defines the relationships between different glyphs used in
    typesetting mathematics. Microsoft is planning to release the
    specification for the mathematical OpenType extensions along with some
    tools in near future. It is also likely that XeTeX will be the first TeX
    system that will be able to use the Unicode/OpenType mathematical fonts.

    I personally think that investing the effort of developing a font with
    just the mathematical glyphs defined in the Unicode standard included,
    without the OpenType math-specific extensions that will allow the font
    to work in Office 2007 and XeTeX (for example), kind of misses the point.

    Microsoft’s Murray Sargent has been writing about this recently:

    You can contact him for more information on the subject.

    Adam Twardoch
    | Language Typography Unicode Fonts OpenType
    | | |

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