Skewcharacter in TeX

Skewcharacter in TeX

Post by Justin Smi » Sat, 24 Apr 1993 02:35:39



What is the precise meaning of the skew character in TeX? I have a
style file for using Times or Palatino for math in LaTeX, but some of
the accents (particularly the hat) do not line up properly. It is my
IMPRESSION from reading the appendix in Knuth's book that the skew
character is responsible in some way, but I found that description to
be slightly opaque.  In this vein, is there a clearer description
available of the parameters TeX uses for typesetting math? The
Metafont book simply says to read the TeXbook!  
--
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Justin R. Smith                                        Office: (215) 895-1847
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Skewcharacter in TeX

Post by Berthold K.P. Ho » Sat, 24 Apr 1993 09:26:19


   What is the precise meaning of the skew character in TeX? I have a
   style file for using Times or Palatino for math in LaTeX, but some of
   the accents (particularly the hat) do not line up properly. It is my
   IMPRESSION from reading the appendix in Knuth's book that the skew
   character is responsible in some way, but I found that description to
   be slightly opaque.  In this vein, is there a clearer description
   available of the parameters TeX uses for typesetting math? The
   Metafont book simply says to read the TeXbook!  

One of many weirdnesses of a `math font' in TeX is that character widths are
not characters widths, but have to do instead with positioning of
subscripts.  As a result, the standard computation that \accent uses for
accent positioning cannot be used in a math font.  So instead, `bogus' kern
pairs are introduced that are not kern pairs, but instead have to do with
accent character positioning.  These bogus kern pairs are with a character
that one normally would not have kern pairs with, in order to avoid
confusion.  You tell TeX which character that is for a particular font by
setting \skewchar.  To make a font useable in math mode, you need to do
several things in its TFM file, one of them is to set up these bogus kern
pairs.  Careful hand-tuning may be needed to figure out good values for
these bogus kern amounts for every character that may be used with an accent.

 
 
 

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