Re: [xep-support] General fonts question

From: Nikolai Grigoriev (
Date: Wed Mar 24 2004 - 12:10:00 PST

  • Next message: Bob Stayton: "Re: [xep-support] General fonts question"


    > We're converting from FOP to XEP for our in-house
    > DocBook->PDF toolchain. I'm very happy so far
    > except for the small number of built-in fonts.

    In XEP, only Adobe Base 14 fonts are treated as built-in;
    all the rest shall be embedded. This is a feature of PDF,
    not of XEP.

    > * Is there some magic configuration thing we can tweak
    > so that AcroRead and the printers use whatever font
    > source they're currently using?

    It cannot be automatic. XEP should be made aware of the font
    metrics; it cannot invent them. I don't know how FOP is coping
    with the situation; perhaps they store metrics inside?

    > * Are there reasonably decent public-domain fonts out there?

    Yes, quite a few. The first source of inspiration are font resources
    in TeX packages and GhostScript. Many of these fonts are GPL;
    but this is a problem for us as makers of commercial software,
    not for you as a final non-profit user.

    > * If the only choice is to purchase them, whose should we buy?

    It does not matter, actually. For safety, it might be easier to stick
    to big names: Adobe, Agfa-Monotype, Linotype, ITC, etc.;
    but in general, any font on is good.

    > At the moment I need only a small number of fonts:
    > Palatino: regular, italic, bold, bold italic, small-caps

    A very close GPL analogue exists in GhostScript: Palladio.
    The font is produced by a respected German foundry,
    URW++. GhostScript uses it to emulatePalatino in its
    PostScript interpreter. Look in the fonts/ directory of your
    GhostScript installation; fonts.dir is an index of the fonts.
    For XEP, you need an AFM and a PFB file for each
    outline variant.

    > Lucida Typewriter: regular, italic, bold, bold italic

    A free analogue is LuxiMono, donated by Bigelow & Holmes
    and URW++ to XFree86. You can take it e.g. from CTAN:
    License is quite liberal. It has the same design (and
    the same authors :-)) as Lucida Typewriter, and is
    only slightly narrower. (In XEP, you can adjust
    the pitch by selecting an appropriate font-stretch
    value to scale the text horizontally; but IMHO
    a narrower monospace font looks better).

    Best regards,
    Nikolai Grigoriev

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