[texhax] More on Fedora 12/cmr12 font shrinking

Scott McMahan scott at skwc.com
Fri Dec 11 18:34:57 CET 2009

Thanks to the folks who have given me assistance on this baffling issue. 
I have ruled out that it is not a change in LaTeX itself, but have not 
found the cause of the shrunk font.

I upgraded to Fedora 12 last week, and printed a draft chapter of a book 
I was working on. I immediately noticed that the page had smaller print 
than the other draft chapters I had printed.

Because I had changed nothing in my print settings, I thought at first 
that the font cmr12 had changed. I couldn't find any explanation for 
what happened. Someone sent me an "old" LaTeX test page and a "new" one 
from the versions before and after the Fedora 12 upgrade, and both 
printed the same way. This has ruled out LaTeX itself as the source of 
the shrinking font.

I am using pdflatex to generate a PDF from my source files. I use Evince 
to print this file. I have written two fairly involved books this way, 
and this is the third. The only change in anything has been from Fedora 
11 to Fedora 12. I have not changed printers, the LaTeX source, etc.

I looked at the print settings in Evince's print dialog, the printer 
defaults, and the printer driver defaults. None of these have changed. 
They are set to American letter size paper, the correct orientation, 
etc. Plus they are set to the correct scale factor. There is not any 
"best fit" or "fit to page" setting active. If it was something as 
trivial as this, I'd have found it by now.

There are no errors in CUPS' error log to indicate anything at all. 
Whatever the Evince -> CUPS -> printer driver system is doing, it 
doesn't think anything has gone wrong.

I used the scale factor to scale the document to 105% and printed a test 
page. I held the new page up along with an old page to a strong light, 
and the individual letters are the same size, but the space between each 
letter and word, plus the space between lines, is not the same, so this 
can't be a scale issue.

I'm baffled by what has happened to cause the font to shrink. I know 
that what's printing out is not a 12-point font. Whatever is going on is 
below the level of user control, either deep inside CUPS, or in the 
latest version of the printer driver. I do not have the expertise with 
print systems to debug this sort of thing. Nor the time, because I have 
to finish this by the end of the year, so I don't have time to debug it. 
I mainly wanted all three books to have a uniform look on the printed page.


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