[tex-live] Real Helvetica?

Philip Taylor (Webmaster, Ret'd) P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Wed Sep 22 11:26:11 CEST 2010

Time to put this thread to bed : one last response from me --

Zdenek Wagner wrote:

> Yes, but are you sure that they have the same metrics as the phv*.tfm
> files in TeX

No : mix-'n'-match, when it comes to fonts in particular,
is a never-ending source of potential problems.

> and that they really contain all accented characters that
> are present in TeX encodings?

No, see above.

> What I want to
> write is that it is dangerous to insert unknown font just because it
> has some name. I once forgot to embed the real font (I gave the file
> intended for my HP printer) to DTP for preparing the offset films and
> unsusable films cost me a few houndred USD. I know a man who did
> somethiong similar but unfortunatelly it was spot when everything was
> printed and bound. The price of the books that have to be put to
> garbage and printed again (500 misprints per page is really too many)
> was about 30 thousand USD. Are you ready to undergo such a risk?

But is your last para. not internally inconsistent ?  You start by
arguing that it is dangerous to embed an unknown font just because
it has the same name as your intended font, then cite a counter-
example where you accidentally /failed/ to embed the font, as a result
of which a catastrophe occurred.  It seems to me that embedding the
font is the /only/ sane choice : relying on local metrics (etc) to
exactly match those of the final printer is (IMHO) just a recipe
for disaster.

So in this particular case, my only reason for mentioning the HP
Helvetica fonts was that at least two people seemed to doubt whether
Mark London actually had Helvetica on his system; if he does have
(courtesy of an HP Scanner and I.R.I.S. OCR, for example), then
provided that he can (a) embed this font, and (b) that the
resulting PDF both looks and prints correctly locally, then (IMHO)
he should be able to forward said PDF to his printer with little
fear (on this score, at least) that problems may subsequently arise.

None of the preceding is intended to suggest that Mark should
ignore your reference to Siep Kroonenberg's "Font installation
the shallow way", but Siep's method does require that the user
has the desired font as a PFB.  The HP Helvetica fonts to which
I referred comes as TTFs, so are not amenable to this manipulation
as far as I can tell, but could be used directly by XeTeX.

** Phil.

More information about the tex-live mailing list