[texhax] description of text in {\tt }

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Wed Jan 28 02:45:10 CET 2009

On 27 January 2009 Uwe Lück wrote:

 > I find it silly or somewhat too bold to send letters that are
 > typeset like books (while I still want to use TeX for typesetting
 > letters). Also, the typefaces of those "letters" nowadays typeset
 > in "Times" etc. may be difficult to read for many people even not
 > outright blind, they are too small and narrow.  Moreover, if you
 > typeset a letter on the typical paper (DIN A4 or letter paper), the
 > lines are much longer than in books, thus they tend to contain too
 > many characters than would be appropriate from a typographic view
 > or for readability.

Uwe, I don't think it's silly to write letters which are as beautiful
as carefully typeset books.  The typographic rules are the same.

Of course, A4 and letter sheets are much larger than books and
probably require a different page layout (larger margins).

Times New Roman had been designed in 1931 by Stanley Morison.  The
sole purpose of this design was to solve problems with very narrow
columns in newspapers.  If you are using this font for anything else,
don't wonder that the result is not good. 

There are plenty of fonts which are more appropriate than Times.  Try
Garamond or Palatino, they both are quite comprehensible.  Much more
comprehensible than Times and much more appropriate for letters.  And
typewriter fonts are good for nothing else than to typeset computer

 > Therefore, official letters from public offices in Germany quite
 > often have used a "typewriter typeface" although typeset by
 > computer.

Of course, if the software they are using still depends on MS-DOG...
This sounds strange but I had been quite surprized when someone who is
deeply involved in these things told me recently that one of the
biggest companies in Germany is still using emTeX on OS/2.

 > For this purpose however, hyphenation is very important (especially
 > since German words are so long ...). \tt doesn't allow hyphenation.
 > - I wrote this assuming you considered *using* \tt, and this may be
 > a difficult matter.

Forget about typewriter fonts and 'Times' in letters.  If the addressee
doesn't know you personally, your letter is all he has in order to
form an opinion about you.  Good typography is a must.  *Especially*
in this case.

There is also a variable width typewriter font in Computer Modern.
Try this:

  \tt  hello\par
  \vtt hello

It's not useful for typesetting computer code but it's definitely
useful for typesetting URLs.

Does cmvtt allows hyphenation?  I didn't try.

However, your proposal to use typewwriter fonts is fine for letters to
the fiscal authorities, though.  And don't hesitate to use Times or
even more ugly fonts in this particular case.  Futura is a good
choice, too...


PS: Can anybody explain this?

  \tt  hello me\par
  \vtt hello me

The 'm' is wrong in both cases.  Compare "l" with "m".

Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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