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If I want to write in text e.g. 1.1-1.5% and use \oldstylenums to get non-lining numbers, what would be the correct way of specifying the percent sign?

When I simply write the percent sign as

\oldstylenums{1.1}--\oldstylenums{1.5}\%

the percent sign seems too large and out-of-place next to non-lining numbers and lowercase letters. Is there some way of getting a smaller, "lowercase" percent sign or should the "capitalized" percent sign simply be considered correct?

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\oldstylenums{1.1} prints "incorrectly": only digits should be in the argument. –  egreg Feb 11 '13 at 15:55
1  
Didn't old books put the % in a superscript? Similar to how they did decimals? –  Canageek Feb 12 '13 at 17:41

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

I'd never use oldstyle digits in these cases. Moreover, their input with the standard fonts is very cumbersome:

\oldstylenums{1}.\oldstylenums{1}--\oldstylenum{1}.\oldstylenum{5}\%

is something I'd never stand (note that a period in the argument of \oldstylenum produces a funny symbol).

You could use fonts that have oldstyle digits to begin with, for instance the Latin Modern fonts as modified by Clea F. Reese:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[
  rm={oldstyle=true,tabular=true},
  sf={oldstyle=false,tabular=true},
  tt={oldstyle=false,tabular=true}
]{cfr-lm}

\newcommand{\smallpercent}{{\footnotesize\%}}

\begin{document}
1.1--1.2\smallpercent\quad 1.1--1.3\smallpercent

1.1--1.4\smallpercent\quad 1.1--1.5\smallpercent

1.1--1.6\smallpercent\quad 1.1--1.7\smallpercent

1.1--1.8\smallpercent\quad 1.1--1.9\smallpercent

\end{document}

enter image description here

Using \small doesn't seem right; but the overall appearance is a clear invitation not to use oldstyle figures for this purpose.

Instead of the package cfr-lm you can use eco:

\usepackage{eco}

Both allow for changing the style of digits mid document; cfr-lm is more powerful, eco has only \newstylenums.

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Great, thanks! You can get rid of the weird decimals as explained here and I shorten the command using \newcommand, but I agree - there should be no such interventions in the content itself. Ideally the document template would detect that automatically (e.g. place new style numerals in tables and old style in text). –  kermit666 Feb 11 '13 at 21:09

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