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How could I produce characters which are outlined when the character itself is in some color. A picture to illustrate what I'm after:
enter image description here

The problems with the above are that:

  • the outline is of no consistent width around the letter.
  • the way I've done it (using tikz with a upscaled black node below the colored one), there is no easy way to control the width of the outline.

Do you know of a way to accomplish this with TeX? I am using plain-format with XeTeX, but I'm interested in all ways to accomplish this.

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Related: tex.stackexchange.com/a/85694/86 –  Loop Space Apr 12 '13 at 14:41
Also related: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/96766/… –  Scott H. Apr 12 '13 at 16:26

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

The pst-text package can do this.


  \pscharpath[fillstyle=solid,fillcolor=magenta!50]{\RM TeXnik}

Perhaps you can migrate this to plain (Xe)TeX.

enter image description here

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+1 but text-search will be no longer possible. :-) –  xport Aug 8 '11 at 19:22
Since the OP used tikZ this should be no major problem. –  Thorsten Donig Aug 8 '11 at 19:34
I don't get the same output (no color) with the example. –  morbusg Aug 18 '11 at 15:16

The contour package can do this, too. You'll need to use Type 1 fonts (check the documentation); here is sample code

\contourlength{2pt} %how thick each copy is
\contournumber{20}  %number of copies
\contour{red}{\Huge \textcolor{green}{This is the text.}}\\

The output is: enter image description here Changing the contourlength to 1pt will give a less pronounced outline.

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Very impressive solution (+1). –  Thorsten Donig Aug 8 '11 at 20:15
I like this solution. Too bad I couldn't get contour to load with eplain. –  morbusg Aug 9 '11 at 15:55
I tried loading eplain with contour and didn't encounter any problems. –  DJP Aug 10 '11 at 0:42
Are you on TL11? Or did you compile with latex? –  morbusg Aug 11 '11 at 4:09
I'm using TL 2009. –  DJP Aug 11 '11 at 4:29

Some years later, in a file I found which I believe to be called “Practical use of special commands in DVIPDFMx” by Jin-Hwan Cho (I would put a link here to it, but I am unable to find where I found it originally from; TUG2005), I found information on the low-level PDF command for use with dvipdfmx:

\special{pdf:bcolor [.8 0 .8] [0]} % two arrays: first defines fill, second the stroke.
% If array has one entry, it's meaning grayscale, if three: RGB, if four: CMYK.
\special{pdf:literal direct .4 w 2 Tr} % .4 here is the stroke width

enter image description here

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