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Like those contributing to the discussion of Why are Bitmap-Fonts used automatically?, I have also found the automatic use of bitmap fonts very annoying as the output is really horrible. My question is:

How to configure LaTeX (TeX Live) so that if T1 is used it uses lmodern by default and if lmodern isn't available don't try to generate bitmap fonts?

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I think it is a bad idea to configure your Latex environment so that you will get a non-standard output; sooner or later, you will have troubles. Why not simply add a short preample that does what you want? You can \input your preamble if you don't want to see it in every Latex document that you edit. – Jukka Suomela Aug 8 '10 at 15:27
Yes, it certainly is something needs care. But I think it is useful for people who like to mess with computers, particularly in the case of incomplete installation of TeX live or the like. – Leo Liu Aug 8 '10 at 16:30
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can change the font configuration by modifying fonttext.cfg and fontmath.cfg, see Configuration Options for LaTeX 2e. You can find this document with

texdoc cfgguide

Hovever, it is not recommended to change the font setup. Here is a quote from fontdef.dtx:

% \section{Customization}
% You are not allowed to change this source file!  If you want to
% change the default encodings and/or the font shape groups preloaded
% you should should create a copy of \texttt{fonttext.ltx}
% under the name \texttt{fonttext.cfg} and change this copy. If
% \LaTeXe{} finds a file of this name it will use it, otherwise it
% uses the standard file which is \texttt{fontdef.ltx}.
% If you don't plan to use Computer Modern much or at all, it might
% (!)  be a good idea to make your own \texttt{fonttext.cfg}. Look at
% the comments below (docstrip module `text') to see what should
% should go into such a file.
% To change the math font setup use a copy of \texttt{fontmath.ltx}
% under the name \texttt{fontmath.cfg} and change this copy. However,
% dealing with this interface is even more a job for an expert than
% changing the text font setup --- in short, we don't encourage either.
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