# Does latin modern sans serif have a weird kerning, or is there a problem on my side?

I don't know whether it's my brain, or my pdf reader, or a missing font on my system. I know I'm asking for Latin Modern, Sans Serif because it's for a presentation, and the result looks weird:

I underlined in red the kerning that seems weird to me. In addition, the stroke of some letters look way too thin (x, y, e) compared to others.

Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Full code there:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{beamerthemelined}
\usecolortheme[rgb={0.4,0.2,0.4}]{structure}

\title{Let's look at some fonts.}
\author{Niriel}
\date{\today}

\begin{document}

\section{Meh}
\frame{
It's funny, I would have expected that font to look much better.
}

\end{document}


What other fonts could I use?

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It looks much better IMHO when you zoom in a lot. But generally it seems to me that the "round" letters as e,o,c have tighter spacing than "vertical" letters as l,i,h. –  tohecz Mar 20 '12 at 10:23

Knuth is not a professional font designer and Computer Modern was his first font, so it suffers from various problems (some shapes like the sans serif "a" are very poor, the kerning could be improved, etc.). But here, your problem is one of hinting : due to the resolution of the screen, just moving the letters one pixel to the left/right would mean much better result. Unfortunately, there's nothing really you can do as it depends on the operating system, the PDF reader, etc. For example, on my screen, here is what I see when I compile your document (a bit better than your screenshot):

If you want better results, I would recommend switching to Myriad Pro by using XeLaTeX. It's a much better designed typeface and should be available if you have Acrobat Reader installed.

\documentclass{beamer}

\usepackage{ifxetex}

\ifxetex
\usepackage{fontspec}
\defaultfontfeatures{Mapping=tex-text}
\else
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\fi

\title{Let's look at some fonts.}
\author{Niriel}
\date{\today}

\begin{document}

\section{Meh}
\frame{
It's funny, I would have expected that font to look much better.
}

\end{document}


(In the above code, I've used \ifxetex so that the document always compiles, even if you use pdflatex. Of course, it will only use Myriad when compiled with xelatex.)

-

I would agree with you that the kerning is a bit off. It is more evident if one magnifies the text a bit. However, ultimately this is a decision of the font designer probably taking into account the overall grayness of a page. I wouldn't over worry about it.

MWE for experimentation:

\documentclass{beamer}
\usepackage{lmodern}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{beamerthemelined}
\usecolortheme[rgb={0.4,0.2,0.4}]{structure}
\title{Let's look at some fonts.}
\author{Niriel}
\date{\today}
\parindent0pt
\begin{document}
\section{Meh}
\frame{
\fbox{\scalebox{5}{b{}e{}t{}t{}e{}r.}}\par
\fbox{\scalebox{5}{better.}}
}
\end{document}

-
Unfortunately the overall grayness doesn't really matter for me since I won't have much text on my slides. Maybe I'm the only one bothered here, some of my colleagues use comic sans. –  Niriel Mar 20 '12 at 11:28
@Niriel Try another font? –  Yiannis Lazarides Mar 20 '12 at 11:35