Overview

The following figure illustrates all the steps involved in getting LaTeX to typeset the document foo using the postscript font blurg. It is a lot more complicated than the picture with which we began! You can test your understanding of the process by making sure that you can explain each file, program, and arrow in the figure.

Examining the figure, you might justifibly wonder why this all had to be so complicated. Recall however that, now that all is said and done, in order to typeset a document in garamond, all you and your friends have to do is include the single line

  \usepackage{garamond}
in your document header, and the entire document will be typeset using the garamond family of fonts as described in the garamond.sty and T1garamond.fd files. Or, if you just want to set one part of a document in garamond, you need only issue the commands
  \fontencoding{T1} \fontfamily{garamond} \selectfont
and LaTeX will find the appropriate font as defined in T1garamond.fd.

So in the end, employing the fonts is easy. It was installing them that was hard. Why? Because TeX is supposed to be platform-independent, it must in essence reproduce all the font management usually handeled for PC and Mac applications by the computer's operating system. As a TeX user, you have had to personally take over all that font management. That is the price you pay for the platform-independence and the unparallalled level of control of low-level aspects of the font like kerning and ligature substitution which TeX provides.

Now that you can get TeX to typeset with fonts other than computer modern, I have a word of advice: use your newfound abilities wisely. Before you go typesetting your documents in Bodoni with Gaudy Sans section headers, take the time to learn the typographic rules of the road from a book like Sean Cavanaugh's Digital Type Design Guide (which includes a CD-ROM with a lot of useful fonts) or Robert Bringhurst's classic The Elements of Typographic Style. Make sure the font employed for section headings are visually compatible with the font used for the body text. In a document containing mathematics, make sure the math fonts (a topic we have not considered at all in these pages) are visually compatible with the text fonts. In all your documents, make sure that text is typeset in a font that not only conveys the appropriate mood but is also easily legible. And never forget that the contents of your documents deserve orders of magnitude more careful attention than typographic issues. But by all means have fun!


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