[Mac OS X TeX] Font question

William Adams wadams at atlis.com
Mon Nov 5 08:43:19 EST 2001

The canonical tool for doing Mac -> something usable font conversion is

There're lots of other options though (I use a combination of Ares
FontHopper (not sold since Adobe bought out Ares :( ) and the new
``TransType'' (commercial) from www.pyrusna.com / www.fontlab.com

The thorniest problem here is font encoding (this causes for instance
the missing ligatures &c.) and then of building a set of .tfms and a
dvips.map file which matches the font in the state one has it.

FontInst is the canonical tool for doing this, and is listed at

I did a presentation (after a fashion) on this for TUG 2001, and
uncovered a wealth of documentation in the process of doing it. Most of
this is in FontInst-Prerelease, and I heartily recommend one read _all_
of it, especially Tako Hoekwater's presentation for EuroTeX.

The basic conceptual steps are as follows:

 - convert font from resource to data fork (unadobe, forkswitcher,
TTConverter, TT FontConvert, TransType)
 - re-encode font if necessary (this can be deferred to the dvips.map
font entry if desired, but most font editors can do this too)
 - get / generate .afms which match the font encoding (ideally they're
included with the font, or one might be able to d/l them, else pfb2afm,
or a font editor)
 - name the fonts according to the FontName specification (I'm taking
over as maintainer for this if I can just find the time.... in the
meanwhile, it's on CTAN)
 - feed the .afms to FontInst (optional step, create a customized set of
FontInst instructions, or a .etx file which matches one's especial
needs) via
\input fontinst.sty \latinfamily {<three-letter fontname here>[jx]} \bye

or some such (uncertain organic memory there)
 - run the resultant .pl (property list) and .vpl (virtual property
list) files through pltotfm and vpltovf to get .tfm and .vf files.
There's also a .fd file for LaTeX which you'll need to stow properly.
 - copy those to the appropriate directories (you'll need to make some
of them if you're using a TDS-compliant-TeX)
 - regenerate the fontname database.


(who does _not_ want to hear about the wonders of LY1 ``real'', not
virtual fonts, but who will be returning to make a post 'bout how this
sort of thing works in NeXTstep or TeX/GX, and maybe ought to work in

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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