[texhax] Latin Modern with Computer Modern-compatible metrics

Pierre MacKay pierre.mackay at comcast.net
Sat Jun 22 01:32:42 CEST 2013

On 06/21/2013 12:32 AM, Alex Scorpan wrote:
> Hello:
> I have an old document that was carefully typeset using the Computer Modern fonts.  I need to replace CM with Latin Modern (eg, to get single PDF glyphs for accented characters, etc).  However, the metrics for LM, being different from CM's (most strikingly at the kerning of quotation marks), change the line breaks, produce overfulls, etc, which is not acceptable for my project:  I'm trying to reconstruct an almost-identical version of the original typesetting.
> So, is there an relatively easy way to get a T1 font with the LM glyphs but with the equivalent of CM metrics?  (I'd have thought this not to be a novel problem, but my search so far has not turned up much (aside from the scary prospect of having to build a virtual font from scratch).)

Since one of your later posts indicates that you have the PL files for 
the original computer Modern, you could simply rename those to make them 
seem to belong to Latin Modern, run PLtoTF and ignore the checksum 
warning that will result when you try to use the faked up TFM.  You will 
also have to make up entries for the accented characters to fit where LM 
has them, but those need to have the same set-widths as the unaccented 
characters (watch out for the rare cases where that would produce a 
clash).  It is a dreary day's work, but no more.  I had to do something 
similar when I needed to loosen up the unpleasantly tight set-widths in 
later versions of Times to get back to a more traditional setting.

The problem is, that I am not sure you will like the results.  The 
aesthetics of LM sound as if they are substantially different from 
Modern No. 8, on which Computer Modern is based, and you may have to do 
some fudged kern pairings to get an acceptable result.
All these changes are possible in the human readable PL file. but you 
might tinker with a couple of the most extreme cases before you commit 
yourself to a day or so of tiresome text editing.

Pierre MacKay

Pierre MacKay

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