Re: [xep-support] line height with Symbol font

From: Nikolai Grigoriev (
Date: Thu Oct 16 2003 - 06:33:27 PDT

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    > I've noticed that using characters from the Symbol font causes an
    > increased distance between the baselines (see attached
    > and spacing.pdf).
    > Is this a bug or a feature? (XEP 3.6.2)

    It's a feature. The explanation follows :-).

    When the default line stacking strategy is used (max-height), the size
    of the line area above the baseline is determined as the height of the
    tallest inline element, plus the half-leading calculated from the current
    line-height and font for the paragraph. In plain words, it means that
    inclusions of inlines taller than the ascender of the default font
    will push the line down.

    Normal fonts have ascenders specified in the font metric; a typical value
    is 0.7 of the font height (0.683 for Times). For Symbol, there is no Ascender
    trait defined in the AFM. In this situation, XEP uses the font bounding box
    to determine the height of inline elements using this font: it happens to be
    1.01 of the font size. For a typical font size of 12 pt, inclusions of Symbol
    should therefore push the line down by ca 3.6 pt.

    To eliminate this effect, you should manually reset the height of text elements
    that use Symbol font. There is a special property, text-altitude, to control that:

    <fo:inline font-family="Symbol" text-altitude="0.7em">&#x2192;</fo:inline>

    > Using Ken's advice of line-stacking-strategy="font-height" helps
    > here, too.

    Sure. This line stacking strategy boldly ignores taller elements
    that might happen on the line, making all baseline separations
    equal. This may be useful for plain text; however, be careful
    not to specify it on blocks containing images - the effects are often
    surprizing :-).

    Best regards,
    Nikolai Grigoriev

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