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Re: hidden composites

I wrote (thinking about extracting information from PFA/PFB files):
>> I'm not aware of any tools that generate the same `CC' entries and the
>> same kern pairs provided by the font vendor (which is the only ``correct''
>> AFM for a font).

... and Berthold K.P. Horn <bkph@ai.mit.edu> to replied, saying:
> PFAtoAFM will reproduce virtually everything in an AFM file including
> character bounding boxes even for unencoded characters.  This includes the
> Composite character section.  The PFB (or PFA) file does not contain
> kern pairs or kern tracking information, so that part is not available
> by this method.
> PFMtoAFM on the other hand will extract the kern pairs (and other
> information).  PFAtoAFM can take output from PFMtoAFM as auxiliary
> input to create essentially a complete AFM file.

It's excellent that PFAtoAFM is smart enough to work out the CC entries;
after all, the necessary information is right there in the font.

I guess I should probably have been a little more specific in my original
posting, and since I should really have added that I was taking about
freely available tools, not commercial software. I'm sure if you use
FontLab, Fontographer, etc. or somesuch, you can do all sorts of font
manipulations that I wasn't considering.

I've always wanted to use Y&Y's tools for font manipulation, since they
seem very capable, but been held back by both their price and the fact
that they seem to run only under DOS, which makes them utterly useless
to me.

Also, since Berthold brings up PFMs, I've been told for a long time that
PFMs have almost all the information you'll find in an AFM but some
things are missing, but never known exactly what (if I had to guess I'd
probably go for the composite character entries).  I'd be really interested
if someone who knows could enlighten me, just for curiosity's sake.
(Similarly, I've never really understood why Adobe introduced PFMs and
MMM files when they had AFMs and AMFMs, it just seems to add needless
complexity and incompatibility to font issues.)

> Of course, all quality fonts should come with proper AFM files in the
> first place - so there should be no need to ever to any of this :-)