[OS X TeX] possible character-mapping bug in gwTeX

Christopher Brislawn brislawn at lanl.gov
Fri Oct 14 18:09:26 EDT 2005

I have encountered what appears to be a low-level bug involving font 
rendering (possibly a character-mapping problem) in Gerben Wierda's 
gwTeX distribution.  Although I am new to the Mac, I have been using 
(La)TeX on Unix and Windows since the mid-80's and am an experienced 
end-user, though no TeXpert.  I installed the gwTeX & support 
i-packages and TeXShop 1.40 on my new G4 Powerbook (running Panther 
10.3.9), as specified at


The problem in documents processed with this setup is that three 
keyboard characters render to PDF as incorrect glyphs in roman and 
other font styles, although they render correctly in math and 
typewriter styles.  The pipe character, |, renders as a dash, while the 
inequalities, < and >, render as inverted exclamation and inverted 
question marks, respectively.  This is true whether I use pdflatex, 
pdftex, or tex + dvips, and whether I use CM or Times fonts, as shown 
in PDF and PS files (provided on request), which were produced using 
the file BadChars.tex (below).  The problems also occur when (La)TeX is 
invoked from the command line, so they don't appear to be due to 

This *could* be a font encoding problem, but I tried saving the source 
in various encodings (MacOSRoman, ISO Latin 1, Latin 5, etc.) and the 
problem is consistent with all encodings.  I tried retyping the bad 
characters using both the built-in keyboard in the Powerbook and a 
peripheral USB keyboard, with the same results each time.  Since these 
problematic three are standard keyboard characters they should use the 
same codes in all Western (Latin) encodings anyway, so it doesn't look 
like a source encoding problem to me.  I tried using the Ghostscript 
distiller, the Panther distiller, and Acrobat distiller, all with the 
same result.  In spite of trying, I have been unable to make the 
problem go away using different processing options.

My original installation of tex.ii2 was dated May 27, 2005, so I tried 
updating my installation, with no effect on the bug.  My original 
installation was an "expert" install, so in the interest of keeping 
things simple I uninstalled tex.ii2, verified that all of the other 
i-packages required by TeXShop were up-to-date, and did a "basic" 
reinstall of tex.ii2 (2005 TeX package version, release dated 
2005/10/11), but the bug is still there.

I have searched a number of TeX forums and FAQs, including 
comp.text.tex, macosxtex-archives, gmane.comp.tex.macosx, Maarten 
Sneep's Mac-Tex-FAQ, etc., but have seen no mention of this problem, 
which is amazing (and disturbing) since it is making three standard 
keyboard characters unusable in most font styles.  Is this problem real 
(i.e., is it reproducible, or am I just going crazy?), is it specific 
to the gwTeX distribution, and are there any effective (or planned) 
solutions?  Forcing all uses of these characters into math mode would 
be awkward and inconvenient, but I am unable to find any other 

Thanks for any assistance or insight you can offer!  Sincerely,

-Chris Brislawn

% file BadChars.tex
%\documentclass[12pt]{article} % uncomment for pdflatex
%\usepackage{times} % uncomment for pdflatex
%\begin{document} % uncomment for pdflatex
%Times (pdflatex): % uncomment for pdflatex

CM (pdftex):

Good characters:

math:  $,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=$

typewriter:  {\tt ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=}

roman:  ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=

slant roman:  {\sl ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=}

italic:  {\it ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=}

boldface:  {\bf ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=}

%sans serif:  {\sf ,.?;:"`'[]!@()+-*/=} (\LaTeX\ only)

Bad characters:

math: $|<>$

typewriter: {\tt |<>}

roman: |<>

slant roman: {\sl |<>}

italic: {\it |<>}

boldface: {\bf |<>}

%sans serif: {\sf |<>} (\LaTeX\ only)


------------------------- Info --------------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
          & FAQ: http://latex.yauh.de/faq/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Archive: http://tug.org/pipermail/macostex-archives/

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list