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Should I always load the microtype package with pdflatex?

Could it produce unwanted effects a naive user (like me) might ignore?

Are there any known issues as for compatibility with other packages?

In fact, I can't see any differences in the appearance of the output but I came across some posts which say that microtype is essentially a must for pdflatex since it greatly improves the pdf output.

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Always use it, it should improve full justification. If you want, you can tinker with the variables for expansion and protrusion. A good example where you can see what microtype does is here. Also the microtype documentation provides an interactive example of what each option does.

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    Interactive example sounds good ... just can't find it!? – lpdbw Aug 6 '12 at 12:32
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    look on page 4, the first section. On the left side are two buttons, try to press them. – Juri Robl Aug 6 '12 at 12:35
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    Indeed I also suggest to always load it - but further you should also add \makeatletter\usepackage{microtype}\g@addto@macro\@verbatim{\microtypesetup{activate=false}}\makeatother% to you preamble to avoid problems with verbatim-areas. – Bastian Ebeling Aug 13 '12 at 6:22
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    @johntait.org IIRC ocg layers. You can view and hide different layers when clicking on a button or printing vs displaying. – Juri Robl Jan 26 '16 at 8:35
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    @BastianEbeling, the microtype documentation suggests to use \AtBeginEnvironment{verbatim}{\microtypesetup{activate=false}}, do you know the difference? – Turion Sep 7 '16 at 15:21
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The answer is: yes, load it, but use not everywhere. For example, microtype should be avoided in the table of contents (which is actually stated in the documentation of the package). In addition to the original documentation, here you can find illustrated examples addressing different microtype features.

  • Nice reference. – lhf Nov 2 '12 at 19:51

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