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What I want to achieve is a text block with zero or, better, nearly zero leading and with searchable text.


The above example is a tikz picture, created with inkscape and exported to tikz.

My own efforts did only lead to something like this, which apparently is not sufficient in any case:


The source:

\setmainfont{Courier Std}
The {\color{DarkRed}pitbull} lies\\
well-behaved and\\
chained /It belc\\
hes and it snore\\
s mutedly in its\\
sleep /A melanch\\
oly muzzle on it\\
s snout.........\\
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Change \color{DarkRed}pitbull to \textcolor{DarkRed}{pitbull}? –  hpesoj626 Mar 8 '13 at 10:03
In your first image, what if the p of pitbull and the b of behaved coincide vertically? They will overlap... is that acceptable? Apparently you want a negative lead, instead of a 0pt lead... –  JLDiaz Mar 8 '13 at 10:06
You could set \lineskiplimit to some negative value, so that overlapping lines don't push the lines apart, e.g. \lineskiplimit=-20pt and set baselineskip to some smaller value e.g. \fontsize{42}{30}\selectfont. I don't think that the redefinition of \baselinestretch is really senseful. –  Ulrike Fischer Mar 8 '13 at 10:18
Yes, \lineskiplimit=-20pt does exactly what I want. –  permaneder Mar 8 '13 at 10:29
“which apparently is not sufficient in my case” – I’m curious: why “apparently”? Who set the requirement, what’s the rationale? –  Konrad Rudolph Mar 8 '13 at 12:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Here's a commented code achieving the goal.

\setmainfont{Courier} % this is what I have


\noindent\makebox[\textwidth][l]{% we don't want overfull box messages
 \renewcommand{\fontsubfuzz}{\maxdimen}% we don't want spurious messages
 \fontsize{42}{42}\selectfont % compute the text width
 \setlength{\dimen2}{16\dimen2}% 16 glyphs per line
 \parbox{\dimen2}{% start a \parbox
  \settoheight{\dimen0}{/}% measure the height of the tallest character
%  \addtolength{\dimen0}{1pt}% finer adjustment
  \fontsize{42}{\dimen0}\selectfont % set the baseline skip
  \lineskiplimit=-\maxdimen\lineskip=0pt % no lines are too near
  \parfillskip=0pt % paragraphs fill the line
  The \textcolor{DarkRed}{pitbull} lies\par
  well-behaved and\par
  chained /It belc\par
  hes and it snore\par
  s mutedly in its\par
  sleep /A melanch\par
  oly muzzle on it\par
  s snout.........\par

enter image description here

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Since you've set the width of the \parbox suitably, do you need all those \par statements? –  Mico Mar 8 '13 at 12:29
@Mico Just to be sure. –  egreg Mar 8 '13 at 12:33
Your code compiles perfectly -- at least when compiled with MacTeX and MacOS X 10.7.5 -- without the \par statements. :-) –  Mico Mar 8 '13 at 12:50
@Mico That's true; but I won't leave to the software decisions that belong to me. :) –  egreg Mar 8 '13 at 12:54

Here is a possible solution. Not sure if it produces what you want. I edited a bit the settings so I can compile it without the required font.

You can adjust the vertical distance between baselines at the \vskip1.5ex

%\setmainfont{Courier Std}
\crampled{The {\color{red}pitbull} lies}
\crampled{well-behaved and}
\crampled{chained /It belc}
\crampled{hes and it snore}
\crampled{s mutedly in its}
\crampled{sleep /A melanch}
\crampled{oly muzzle on it}
\crampled{s snout.........}



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