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Vladimir Venets wrote:
>Dear colleagues: I should be greatly obliged if you could send me any
>information concerning mf to ps font conversion (high quality conversion).
>We shall plan to convert some cyr (russian) fonts to Type1 fonts for using
>them in latex2pdf. Many thanks beforehand, Sincerely yours Vladimir Venets

As noone else (hence noone more experienced) seems to have picked up this
thread, I shall try to convey what knowledge I have gathered on the
subject. I hope it can be of assistance.

There is a program called mf2ps on CTAN that is intended to do precisely
what you want, but it is not, as I recall it, in a ready-to-use
condition--what you get is the source. The program itself is a rewrite of
METAFONT--the back end has been changed so that the output produced
consists of postscript fonts rather than GF fonts--so it is supposed to
happily process any MF source. Possible problems with using this program,
apart from actually compiling it and so on, are:

1. It was completed (at least the version described in an article
accompanying the source) at about the same time that Adobe made the
specifications of the Type 1 format public, so mf2ps does not produce Type
1 fonts, it produces Type 3 fonts.

2. mf2ps seems to have been intended to be able to produce PS fonts from MF
source written to produce GF fonts, so the font quality may be suffering
from this. This also means that fonts produced by mf2ps does not contain
anything to help the postscript interpreter with the discretization of
fonts (hints and so on), as is found is commercial postscript fonts.

Another approach would be to try to use METAPOST as a front end for the MF
source. This program provides most of the features in METAFONT (as well as
a few of its own), but produces EPS pictures instead of fonts (a picture
corresponds to one character of a GF font). It is however widely spread and
it is ready to use. It can also produce TFMs, although it cannot produce
actual fonts. It seems to me though, that it is a much simpler problem to
take a bunch of (_very_ well-behaved) EPS pictures and turning them into a
font (1 picture -> 1 glyph) than it is to convert the MF source in a single

Using METAPOST would probably require some rewriting of the MF source, but
I would guess that's hard to avoid anyway (at least if you require high

It would be interesting to know what progress you make in converting MF
fonts to PS fonts. I have myself thought about using MF as a language for
creating postscript fonts, but then more in the context of making a font
that contains the miscellaneous TeX-world glyphs that are usually missing
from commercial fonts. (I found using a graphical font editor for this to
quickly become a bore. It might be OK to create the glyphs for one font,
but when there are three wheights and two variants in each of them, then it
is no fun anymore!)

If you should take any of the above programs and turn it into a
full-fledged PS font generator for MF source, then I would certainly be

Lars Hellström