Take the 2-minute tour ×
TeX - LaTeX Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of TeX, LaTeX, ConTeXt, and related typesetting systems. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I don't know where I can ask about it.

I have font with 2 or 3 versions of letter 'a'.

How I can put this information to LuaLaTeX, LaTeX etc.?

When the paragraph are breaking/making LaTeX made ​​him some free spaces. And then one could use a different width of letters, but I do not know how to tell these LaTeX. How to intervene in the submission of a paragraph.

My letter a is in normal 'a' position and in user space range unicode.

BTW: this editor is wonderfull: FontEditor BitfontMaker http://www.pentacom.jp/soft/ex/font/


share|improve this question
Do you mean OpenType stuff like Contextual Alternates, Swashes, etc.? –  morbusg May 15 '13 at 13:43
Welcome to TeX.SX! You may have a look on our starter guide. –  texenthusiast May 15 '13 at 13:44
meybe. I have one letter 'a' in 3 different size and different shape. What i can use this letters 'a' in my documents. –  Pankracy May 15 '13 at 13:45
you may also ask at typophile.com to find out whether other people have designed similar fonts, and how these fonts are handled by various typesetting engines. –  Nils L May 15 '13 at 15:07
Since you have some responses below that seem to answer your question, please consider marking one of them as ‘Accepted’ by clicking on the tickmark below their vote count (see How do you accept an answer?). This shows which answer helped you most, and it assigns reputation points to the author of the answer (and to you!). It's part of this site's idea to identify good questions and answers through upvotes and acceptance of answers. –  Jubobs May 18 '13 at 13:55
add comment

2 Answers

How can I put this information to LuaLaTeX, LaTeX etc.?

I'm afraid the answer is: you can't, or maybe you can't unless someone comes up with something really trippy.

If I understand correctly (feel free to tell us more), what you have in mind is, essentially, the method employed by Johannes Gutenberg. His founts, like yours, had several versions of the same glyph in slightly different widths, in order to produce fully justified paragraphs without too much hyphenation and stretching/shrinking of inter-word space. (In his founts, though, the width variations are barely recognizable.)

Now in the digital realm, it would be perfectly possible to implement the first part of that method -- to design a glyph in several widths, which is what you've started to do. But consider TeX's algorithm for paragraph breaking (which I suggest you familiarise yourself with before investing further energy into your project).

In order to make decisions about how to break a paragraph into lines, TeX needs to ›know‹ about the widths of the glyphs that it will use to typeset the current paragraph (NB: the widths of the glyphs is, in fact, pretty much all TeX knows about them). Once TeX knows that, it has two things that it can adjust to create a decent-looking paragraph: inter-word space and hyphenation. If you add microtype, a third factor comes into play: the stretching and shrinking of a line as a whole, i.e. a uniform treatment of all glyphs in a line (kind of a brute-force version of Hermann Zapf's more sophisticated approach). None of these three things has to do with modifying single glyphs -- obviously, for we'd end up with an (almost?) infinite loop if we went back to the glyph width again and again.

So what you have in mind is a process that generates the information it relies on. As I see it, TeX is not going to let you do that. (related, on a page-breaking level: different type areas on even/odd pages)

share|improve this answer
"stretching and shrinking of all the glyphs, uniformly" is not how hermann zapf implemented the hz-algorithm. some years ago, i discussed this in some detail with peter karow of urw. only some letters are provided in alternate forms, as described in the question. a cogent overview of the topic (not related to tex) can be found at typografi.org; there is also a discussion on wikipedia that i find less compelling, although it has some useful links. –  barbara beeton May 15 '13 at 16:40
yes, I should have been more precise: stretching/shrinking of a line as a whole is microtype's version of what H.Z. originally had in mind. Obviously, some glyphs are less suitable for stretching/shrinking than others. Will modify my post. –  Nils L May 15 '13 at 17:17
Any example of this microtyping? For example can use other letter substitution. for example z=z,ż,ź,x –  Pankracy May 15 '13 at 17:31
you mean an example of what microtype does? Here's one. As for examples of what you have in mind, IIRC there are none (in the wild) -- see Torbjørn Eng's famous essay. –  Nils L May 15 '13 at 18:22
I'm afraid I'm having trouble understanding what exactly you're looking for. If it's OpenType glyph substitution, then I suggest you have a look at the fundamentals as described here, and, more generally (OpenType feature files), here. As for practical examples, there everywhere: behind every plain f_i ligature is an OpenType SUB rule: substitute f i by f_i;. –  Nils L May 15 '13 at 20:30
show 2 more comments

If the only difference in your (unspecified) font is the width of glyphs, LaTeX microtype package might be your first choice. Alas, the documentation is over 200 pages long.

share|improve this answer
Please keep all posts inluding comments in English. Otherwise the usefullness of this site will suffer. If your really need to write comments in two language than please start with the English version first. Note that comments can only be deleted by a moderator (users can only request the deletion) and can not be undeleted at all. Also, comments are not meant to be permanent by principle but for clarifications etc. Longer exchanges between users can be done in a custom chat romm. and there it's not a problem using a different language than English. –  Martin Scharrer May 16 '13 at 12:40
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.