Consider the following text samples produced with LaTeX:

  • sample 1 default font
  • sample 2 special font

Notice the difference in height of letters in sample 2.

Sample 1 is obtained with default font as

{\bf Keywords:} magnetic spectrometers, charged particle tracking, particle optics

My question is how to produce font style in sample 2. Is the purpose of this style to increase readability of text?

  • 12
    I'd never want to reproduce such a bad typesetting. :)
    – egreg
    Feb 24, 2012 at 22:31
  • 5
    This could be due to a rounding error of the renderer software. Feb 24, 2012 at 22:34
  • Andrey: it actually appears to be so. Sample 2 is from screen shot from Okular viewer, while sample 1 is from Evince viewer. When the same document is viewed with Adobe Reader the effect is gone. But the strange thing is, that I have already seen this effect on a printed document. And rounding error is usually small (sure it can accumulate in badly written algorithms), but this effect is easily seen by the eye.
    – liberias
    Feb 24, 2012 at 22:43
  • 9
    The second sample looks related to the Cthulhu worshipping man font question.
    – Stefan Kottwitz
    Feb 24, 2012 at 22:44
  • Is the second sample produced with vector or raster font? Vector format is preferrable, see this question for how to switch. Feb 24, 2012 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


Some, especially older, documents produced by TeX don't use the today-common vector format for fonts, but rather store them as bitmaps. In the past this had several advantages, such as fast processing and easy rendering. However, the biggest disadvantages are fixed resolution, the inability to precisely scale the font glyphs and to perform antialiasing. Vector format has no such problems and is understood by any modern computer or printer; with proper hinting it can be rendered on screen as precisely as bitmap fonts can, and it can be rendered at any resolution. There is no excuse to use bitmap fonts today.

When rendering a bitmap font on screen, all sorts of rounding or positioning problems can arise, because the only information available to the renderer is a fixed size pixel matrix, which does not scale or rotate well.

With all this said, my advice is to never reproduce the given example, and always use vector fonts. See also Why are Bitmap-Fonts used automatically?

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