Metric Information

Adrian Heathcote
Tue, 23 Jul 2002 17:06:15 +0200


This question is slightly off-topic but arises from a question that Axel 
Rose asked on the list earlier---and it's been troubling me ever since.

The question is: does mac Os X have access to ANY metric information 
(for post script fonts)---apart from what it can infer on the fly from 
the outline fonts themselves?

I ask this because every now and again I have to use (or try to use) 
Word in OS X, and i get behavior that suggests that the system is 
ignorant of everything about the fonts except the post script shape. For 
example if I type a sentence in 11 pt and then select and enlarge it to 
24 pt the glyphs completely overlap. In fact its fairly difficult to use 
a font at anything other than 12 pt. Serious anomalies begin to build 
up. I've had some bizarre behavior from Adobe's InDesign as well. (And 
of course Quark have said publicly that they cannot port Xpress until 
some changes are made to the OS---though they were coy about what.)

I know in days of old the metric info was in the FOND resource. But I 
get the impression that those suitcases are now treated as unnecessary. 
So is OSX metric blind? And is this a general failing of UNIX systems: 
how does Linux, for example handle post script fonts and the metrics 
that go along with it?

At the moment OS X is great for using TeX---but as for being a DTP 
system in the way that OS 9 and earlier were, it seems hopelessly 

Does anyone know what the story is here? (Respond off-list, if you 


Adrian Heathcote