[texhax] correct spacing between adjacent quote marks

P. R. Stanley prstanley at ntlworld.com
Sun Oct 25 08:44:09 CET 2009

>>>\def\fino{\kern 0.1em }
>>>\def\finito{\kern 0.05em }
>>>(\fino from Spanish ``thin'' and \finito from ``very thin'')
>>>and one negative:
>>>\def\finoneg{\kern -0.1em }
>>        Paul: Where would you use the negative thin spacing? I'm not
>>quite sure of the concept of negative spacing, so any furhter
>>clarification would be much appreciated.
>For example, with some fonts, between a ^{\circ}, for degrees, and a
>comma or dot (but not colon or semicolon): $180^{\circ}$\finoneg.
>>         Paul: I'm sorry, I'm still not sure exactly what negative 
>> spacing does. Does it narrow the gap between two entities and if 
>> so is it the default length minus the negative kerning parameter?

>>Incidentally, the above demos were inspired by Knuth's TeXBook. He
>>uses \thinspace between the single and double quote marks but if you
>>say the gap is too large then ...
>It was Reinhard Kotucha who said that in
>>`\thinspace``rabit rabit rabit''\thinspace'
>\thinspace looked to him too large. I think it depends on each font
>design ---with some fonts it might look OK; with other fonts maybe a
>thinner space might be necessary; and perhaps with another font no
>thin space is required at all.
>I remember a long discussion about it in the MinionPro mailing list. I
>tried the examples presented with InDesign, and discovered that the
>cases some people were complaining about looked the same in InDesign
>as in LaTeX; so it was the original design of the font, not the
>metrics created by the MinionPro project people.
         Paul: In which case the question is, what class of fonts 
would suit what sort of spacing, or are there too many to list?

If getting the right font and kerning combinations relies essentially 
on one's ability to "see", then what alternative would the list recommend?

Many thanks

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