I am looking for a solution to create "poor man's condensed" with pdflatex. Here I found an answer that works with XeTeX, however it uses package fontspec, but I need something for pdflatex. And as in the referenced question, wrapping the condensed stuff with, say, \scalebox{0.9}[1] is not an option as I need the condensed text to allow linebreaking ...

In case it helps: I am using the mycrotypepackage anyway and from reading its documentation I understand that it uses ad hoc condensing and widening per line behind the scenes, so I guess something should be possible somehow.

\def\textcondensed#1{\scalebox[0.9]{1}{#1}} % This is almost fine, except line breaking

This is just some normal text, but the latin phrase
\textcondensed{lorem ipsum dolor sit amet}
that it contains is typeset in condesed.
  • What's "condensed"?
    – jub0bs
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 18:12
  • 1
    @Jubobs Letters should keep their heights but become slightly smaller horizontally (e.g. if big O is a circle it should become more elliptical). A proper (not poor man's) condensed font would make considerations for stroke witdths etc., but for not so strong condensing something "mechanical" should suffice. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 18:19
  • 1
    seems like an accident news headline
    – percusse
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 18:28
  • If you're installing fonts yourself, otftotfm offers an option --extend which you can set to a value below 1. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 19:00
  • @percusse I see your point, poor man indeed :) Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 19:04

1 Answer 1


Here is a poor solution via microtype (the last line of a paragraph is problematic):


   [ context = poorcondensed,
     stretch = -100,
     shrink = 100,
     step    = 1 ]
   { encoding = {OT1,T1,TS1} }
   { }



  • I'm afraid it's too poor.
    – egreg
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 23:38
  • @egreg I agree... Especially as this (very poor) solution only works with a whole paragraph. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 23:58
  • Ouch... But since you might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb, you could also add some negative letterspacing.
    – Robert
    Commented Nov 26, 2013 at 0:46

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