[texhax] More on Fedora 12/cmr12 font shrinking

Frank Shute frank at shute.org.uk
Fri Dec 11 22:13:53 CET 2009

On Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 12:34:57PM -0500, Scott McMahan wrote:
> 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.
> Scott

CUPS will probably use Ghostscript to change the PDF to postscript if
you're using a PS printer.

Have you tried using dvips to produce a postscript version and then
examine it with gv or print a page? If your printer supports
postscript then that would avoid using Ghostscript (or Evince?) to do
the pdf->ps conversion.




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