teTeX mod for Mac fonts (was Re: [Mac OS X TeX] Font question)

William Adams wadams at atlis.com
Tue Nov 6 13:52:22 EST 2001

(NB: this is cross-posted betwixt the pdftex and Mac OS X TeX mailing

Troy Goodson asked:
>Are you saying that there is information that TeX needs to know about
>a font but is not included in Mac OS X fonts?

Not merely that, but Mac OS X's bundled fonts are in weird, proprietary
formats (.dfont---``data fork'' font format which is a normal Mac
suitcase-style font flopped from the resource fork where it normally

In addition, the original core Mac OS fonts (the city-named ones and
those which hearken back to the era of QuickDraw/GX) have had font
encoding vectors / tables _removed_ so as to preclude their conversion.

>If so: why does teTeX need info that OS X doesn't?

teTeX needs the font metric information in a format which it can
parse---this'd need to be a .tfm which would normally be made from a
.afm (but that's a PostScript thing, so not an option), or from a .ttf
(ttf2tfm as included with the FreeType package I think it is, but that's
not an option since the TrueType fonts aren't .ttf but the funky Mac
proprietary format).

>If not: there must be some way of getting teTeX to support OS X fonts

Depends---how do you feel about circumventing Apple's license?

As I've said before, one must:

 - flop .dfont fonts to standard Mac suitcases (Apple had a utility for
this, ``ForkSwitcher'' but has since pulled it)
 - convert Mac Suitcase TrueType fonts to .ttf (ttfclerk, TT FontConvert
FAT, TTConverter)
 - restore any missing encoding vectors
 - get .tfms somehow
 - tell pdftex where the fonts are and how they're encoded

The alternative is for someone to develop a tool which parses the Mac
font format(s), write an encoding vector and program the required


William Adams, publishing specialist
ATLIS Graphics & Design / 717-731-6707 voice / 717-731-6708 fax
Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow.

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