[OS X TeX] Arial (or similar) font in TeX

William Adams wadams at atlis.com
Mon Jun 24 09:08:37 EDT 2002

Matthias said:
(re: Arial / Helvetica)
>No, it is definitely not. Compare the "R" in both fonts. It's very clear
>here, but I could tell you in every example if the font used is Helvetica
>or Arial...

>Helvetica is a classic Sans-Serif font (which looks very very 80s like
>today, imho), Arial is a font designed for screen display, which got very
>popular, since it was delivered with Word by Microsoft, and obviously more
>fashionable than Times New Roman to many people. It does quite a good job
>on screen, but I would never use it in printed form.

Helvetica is a ``grotesk'' which style dates back quite a bit farther
than the 80s (though it was very popular then) to the tail end of the
19th century.

Arial was _not_ created for on-screen display, but as a metrically
compatible alternative to Helvetica by Monotype for use by IBM with
their then new laserprinters (originally the fonts bundled with that
were named after rivers in Colorado, so it was ``Sonora Sans''). For
those interested in the details, Dr. Chuck Bigelow posted on this to
comp.fonts and groups.google.com should have it.

Monotype later made it available under the name Arial, and when
Microsoft needed a way out of the lawsuit from Linotype for trademark
violations (they'd included bitmap screen fonts named ``helv'' and ``tms
rmn'' with early versions of Windows (3.0 and before)), they siezed upon
the Monotype triumvirate of Arial, Times New Roman and Symbol (and paid
them to cook up a version of Courier (CourierNew), since IBM had never
troubled to trademark that name (they were busy with anti-trust lawsuits
at the time)).

Microsoft made use of a cross-license of Apple's then new ``Royal''
outline font technology to bring these fonts to Windows 3.1. Arial and
Times New Roman, etc. did receive man _years_ of effort in hinting for
their TrueType versions so as to optimize them for on-screen display
though. Monotype continues to do this for other fonts in their ``ESQ''
(Enhanced Screen Quality) line.


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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