[OS X TeX] microtype-package

Herb Schulz herbs at wideopenwest.com
Mon Jan 24 10:11:18 EST 2005

On 1/24/05 2:43 AM, "Will Robertson" <will at guerilla.net.au> wrote:

> On 24 Jan 2005, at 6:58 PM, Daniel Becker wrote:
>> I found out that using
>> \usepackage{microtype}% [expansion=true,protrusion=true]
>> makes my pdf looking much better - less hyphenation etc.
> Yes, I find the output remarkable, especially for two column documents.
> All your overfull boxes just seem to disappear like magic! (Well, not
> all, but lots.)
>> BUT: The file size increases to 1.2 or so MB when I use microtype. Is
>> there a way to avoid those big file sizes and using microtype (with
>> expansion=true) at the same time?
> Not really, because in order to make the text look bigger it
> stretches/shrinks individual characters for more pleasing output, and
> these characters must be embedded as extra fonts.
> You can reduce the number of fonts embedded by reducing the number of
> step sizes used in the algorithm (making it consider fewer options),
> but the output quality may decrease.
> Basically at the moment it may stretch or shrink a character by 5
> "increments" (that number may be incorrect), and considers each
> possibility (IIRC) separately; so if you reduce that number the compile
> time will also improve.
> Check the microtype documentation for details on this, as I haven't
> done much investigation (although I meant to when pdftex 1.20b was
> first released).
> I would recommend against it if you're distributing documents on the
> web (or emailing them, or whatever), but for hardcopy output you can't
> get better quality anywhere.
> Regards,
> Will


Two things I'd like to add.

1)For the font expansion to operate you must be able to embed the font, and
its expanded version(s), in the pdf file. Therefore pdftex & dvips must be
set to embed the LaserWriter fonts (e.g., Helvetica, Times, Palatino) inside
the pdf if you use them.

2)I use the font expansion option of microtype only for pdf's I plan to
print out since I can delete the pdf after printing. If I'm going to send
the pdf to someone else or include it with some other material I turn off
the font expansion but retain the margin kerning (character protrusion). The
document isn't as beautiful but I just can't bear sending such a large file
to others.

That said, font expansion seems to produce beautiful paragraphs with fewer
hyphenations and more even color than even the wonderful job of TeX itself
or with margin kerning alone.

Good Luck,

Herb Schulz
(herbs at wideopenwest.com)

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