# Digital Typography News

A blog exclusively devoted to digital typography

## The Frederika2016 Typeface

Currently, I am working on the digitization of the Fredirika font by Herman Zapf. Originally, the font was supposed to be the Greek counterpart of the Virtuosa font by the same designer. I have completed the digitization of the Greek monotonic part and now I am working on the polytonic part of it. To the best of my knowledge, there was no polytonic support so I have to improvise. So far I got help from Dimitrios Filippou, Yorgos Mathiopoulos, and Yiannis Kontovos. Here is a sample text typeset with this font.

UPDATE: I have completed also the polytonic part fo the font. And the following text was set with Frederika2016 (that is the official name of the font).

UPDATE: An initial release of the font is available from https://www.ctan.org/pkg/frederika2016

June 24th, 2016 at 10:39 pm

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## Why I do not like luaTeX!

Most people speak with good words about luaTeX. They seem to like things it can do that no other TeX derived systrem can do. Personally, I do not care about these features but yesterday a friend told me that he wanted to write something in Greek with luaLaTeX. And what’s the catch, one may ask. The problem is that luaLaTeX does not load any hyphenation patterns but the default ones. So one needs to load them. In TeX one uses a command like the follolwing one

\language\l@monogreek%


where \l@monogreek is numerical value assigned to each language contained in the format. This is well documented in the TeXbook. Now despite the fact that I spent a few hours searching for information on how to load specific hyphenation patterns, I could not find anything! Moreover, I could not find any information on how one loads a lua package (i.e., some external lua package that is available in the TeX installation). People know that they can load a LaTeX package with  the
\usepackage command but I have no information on how to load lua code. Practically, this means that if one is not part of the inner circle of luaTeX developers, then she cannot really know what is really going on. And this is exactly the reason why I do not like luaTeX.

April 10th, 2016 at 11:21 am

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## svrsymbols at the Ψk Conference!

The new package svrsymbols has been presented at the Ψk Conference with a poster that attracted the interest of a good number of participants!

The poster presented at the Ψk Conference.

September 9th, 2015 at 12:00 am

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## “Python for Kids”

Python is a programming language that is used by many typographical tools. For example, one can use Python scripts to change fonts in Fontforge and the Adobe Font Development Kit for OpenType is written mostly in Python. Therefore a good knowledge of Python programming is quite beneficial for people working with fonts. The book Python for Kids by Jason R. Briggs is both an introduction to programming and an introduction to the Python programming language. The book’s audience include high-school pupils but after inspecting it, I am convinced it can be used by people of all ages. The book starts with the basic Python programming tools: input and output commands,  strings and hash tables,  repetition commands, control structures, etc. The book includes material that can be used to draw simple images and to make simple animations. Then it uses all these to explain how to create simple game that involves a bouncing ball and a paddle. In addition, the author describes how to create a game that involves a character that moves in simple landscape. I think the description of these two games is very interesting since kids need to know how to do fancy things. However, I am sure that grown ups will appreciate these two games because they can be used to create much more complex games. For example, a science teacher can use these games to demonstrate certain ideas from physics, chemistry, etc. The book’s binding is good for desktop reading and the general layout is very good. I think this is a good book for people willing to know how to program in Python.

May 11th, 2015 at 10:26 pm

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## SmallCapsFeatures in XeLaTeX

On page 37 of my book on XeLaTeX I include the following example

\newICUfeature{Contextuals}{Alts}{+calt}
\setmainfont[Mapping=tex-text,Script=Greek,
SmallCapsFeatures={Contextuals=Alts}]{Universal Modern}


This does not work anymore. One needs to modify this as follows:

setmainfont[Mapping=tex-text,Script=Greek,
UprightFeatures={Contextuals=NoAlternate},
SmallCapsFeatures={Contextuals=Alternate}]{Universal Modern}


If one omits the UprightFeatures part, then the SmallCapsFeatures apply everywhere.

May 11th, 2015 at 9:41 pm

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## Creating nonprintable PDFs

If one uses XeTeX, then then the following commands can be used to create a PDF which cannot be printed:

$xelatex -no-pdf my_doc$ xdvipdfmx -K 120 -S -P 0x0800 my_doc.xdv


November 21st, 2014 at 6:19 pm

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## Spot colors and XeLaTeX

A spot color is a one that is printed with its own ink while a process color is one that is printed using four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black). As it stands one  can have only process colors in a document produced by XeLaTeX. The spotcolor package by Jens Elstner is a tool that allows users of pdfLaTeX to have spot colors in their documents. Unfortunately, this package does not work with XeLaTeX and so I decided to “port” this package to XeLaTeX. I am using the term “port” because the package defines commands that use pdfTeX’s primitives that are not available to XeTeX. For instance, primitives like \pdfobj and \pdflastobj do not exist in XeTeX. Apart from this, I had noticed that in order to be able to color the background of a page using a spot color, I had to modify xdvipdfmx so to make it understand a new command. The xespotcolor package is the result of  this task. The latest version of xdvipdfmx has included the patches that I submitted to the developers.

August 19th, 2014 at 7:24 pm

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## Firefox PDF viewer

Firefox version 19.0 comes with an embedded PDF viewer. However, this viewer failed to properly display PDF files that have Greek text and have been prepared with XeLaTeX. I have contacted the PDF.js developers who were very helpful and suggested to install the development version: http://mozilla.github.com/pdf.js/extensions/firefox/pdf.js.xpi to solver the problem. Indeed, this version solved the problem and now I can read my PDF files with no problem. Thank you people for this great piece of Open Source software!

February 21st, 2013 at 11:48 pm

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## ShareLaTeX

ShareLaTeX is a collaborative online LaTeX editor.  It seems more and more people are getting disappointed with word processors 😉

February 19th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

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