# [texhax] dash spacing

Tom Sgouros tomfool at as220.org
Mon Apr 2 15:22:39 CEST 2012

Aha, I get it.  Plus I feel better about not being able to find it.

Does this mean that the spacing (or lack thereof) varies from font to
font?

-tom

On Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 9:12 AM, Barbara Beeton <bnb at ams.org> wrote:

> tom,
>
>    Thank you all for the opinions --- justified and otherwise.  Is there a
> way
>    to just redefine --- to have a tiny little space like Barbara's \Dash?
>    It's much more convenient to type and read than \Dash.  I suspect it of
>    being a macro somewhere (after all, what isn't?), but it's the first one
>    whose definition I can't seem to find, presumably because of some dark
>    \chardef magic.
>
> not \chardef, but ligaturing info in the
> .tfm files.  -- is ligatured to the en-dash,
> and the en-dash plus a hyphen is ligatured
> to the em-dash.  (type in four hyphens in
> a row and see what happens.)
>
> so, not easy to insert a space other than
> as a macro.  i suppose you *could* "adjust"
> the metrics to do it.  since the em-dash
> isn't ligatured to anything else, a single
> one wouldn't result in anything unsightly,
> but there are a couple of good reasons
> not to do that:
>  - if you insist on entering a 3-em dash
>   in a bibliography as a string of nine
>   hyphens, there would be gaps;
>  - your font(s) would be nonstandard and
>   your source code wouldn't compile
>   elsewhere with the same result.
> i *know* you don't send your source code
> off on its own, but mods like this are
> still not desirable (even if you change
> the file names, as i know you would).
>
> possible (macro) workaround:  if you
> don't have need for the macron, you could
> consider redefining \= to be an em-dash
> with tiny spaces around it.  still not
> ideal, but a bit less onerous than \Dash.
>                                                 -- bb
>
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