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[help-texinfo] Re: Magnification, math images, and figures

From: Karl Berry
Subject: [help-texinfo] Re: Magnification, math images, and figures
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 17:45:09 -0400

    Well, you should know.

It is built into TeX.  I'm sure the scaling of scaled fonts is 100%

    `kpathsea' always tries to generate missing fonts, but I don't know
    whether it's used on all systems.

It isn't, but this doesn't matter.  It's no different than any other
font.  Texinfo already uses plenty of fonts at magnifications that don't
come with most systems.  Plus, see below.

    to a certain size before some Metafont error or other occurred, mostly a
    number that became too large.  If I recall correctly, \magnification=20000
    (i.e., 20x) was about the limit for one of them.

This is not surprising.  The answer is to use scalable fonts, which can
be magnified more or less arbitrarily without the need to generate
bitmaps.  In fact, TeX Live, teTeX, and probably other TeX systems come
without any pregenerated bitmaps at all, and won't need to make any for
the Computer Modern fonts.

(Of course many people use older systems, especially since (GNU/)Linux
distributions typically come with an ancient version of teTeX configured
to use bitmap instead of Type 1 fonts.  That's ok, everything works,
it's just more trouble.)

    No, I meant to generate them in the appropriate sizes, taking care of any
    errors, and distributing the `gf', `pk', and `tfm' files with the package.

Aside from the fact that bitmaps aren't needed on many systems, as
above, Texinfo isn't the right place to do this, IMHO.  It would be
impossible to install them, for one thing.  I can't even install
texinfo.tex, a much simpler proposition, because there is no way to
determine the correct location.

I would suggest that the better way to handle this is to make a
"documentation for the visually impaired" package, containing
both the actual manuals at the large sizes and the tools/fonts to do the

(Also, gf files do not ever need to be distributed; pk is equivalent but
better.  And tfm files are resolution-independent, so they would
generally already exist.)

    I seem to remember there being a cmr17, but there's no TeX on this system, 

Yes, there is a cmr17.

    The math fonts are probably not available in large sizes.

True, cmmi12 is the only true design larger than 10pt AFAIK.

    `gettext' documentation, but after seeing how long it is, I decided to

There is no need to read or understand anything about gettext.
As I implied, if you set the LC_ALL environment variable to "POSIX", my
belief is that you will get English output from Texinfo, Bison, or whatever.

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