[Fontinst] Ligatures in a monowidth font

Lars Hellström Lars.Hellstrom at residenset.net
Mon Aug 27 01:13:32 CEST 2012

Plamen Tanovski skrev 2012-08-26 11.27:
> Hi,
> for the first time I'm making the metrics for a monowidth font and
> there are few questions arising:

Many of these questions are discussed in the ETX/MTX files in question.

> 1. The font has ligatures, which have the same width as the rest.
> Should I use them? This is more a matter of typography, and in my
> opinion ligatures don't belong to a unproportional font. I'm attaching
> a sample with ligatures for judgement.

The only thing these monowidth ligatures tend to be good for is if one 
wishes to display the code table of some legacy 8-bit encoding which treats 
the ligatures as characters in their own right, but that's a very rare need 

> 2. If ligatures are not used, why are their slots not free in t1.etx
> in case monowidth is setted? So I can use them for other glyphs like
> alternative zero glyphs, etc.

Legacy code? You can of course \setint{ligaturing}{-1} to tell t1.etx to 
skip them, even if the default for monowidth fonts is 0.

> 3. Why are the en- and emdash made of hyphens in the mtx files? Since
> the font has those dashes with the same width as the rest, I prefer to
> use them.

The problem is that in particular the endash looks /very/ strange. I for one 
need my rangedashes (the inked part, not the advance width) to be at least 
as long as a hyphen to actually interpret them as such. Alan probably felt 
the same, since he was the one that introduced the rangedash and punctdash 
glyph names to begin with.

> 4. What is the purpose of the repositioning the asterik in
> ltpunct.mtx?

This is not explained in the code, but it says that it is due to Walter 
Schmidt, so maybe he can explain his thoughts on the matter. It is also 
possible that there might be an explanation/discussion in the list archives.

I would guess that it aims to make monowidth fonts more suitable for 
typesetting listings and the like. For that one usually wants 
\Unicode{002A}{ASTERISK} to look like math $*$, but some fonts have it 
looking more like ${}^*$.

Lars Hellström

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