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More on fonts, small caps

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cdlm committed Mar 14, 2011
1 parent 276bf06 commit f40cfaa0bc33a3ec60e400224b5de186850117d3
Showing with 23 additions and 4 deletions.
  1. +23 −4 main.tex
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@@ -14,6 +14,8 @@
\usepackage{hyperref}
\hypersetup{colorlinks}
+\usepackage{csquotes}
+
\usepackage{listings}
\lstset{
basicstyle={\ttfamily},
@@ -34,6 +36,7 @@
\newcommand\parameter[1]{{\parambegin#1\paramend}}
\newcommand\code[1]{\texttt{#1}}
\let\file\code
+\newcommand\package[1]{\file{#1.sty}} % and link to CTAN
\usepackage{todo-setup}
\usepackage{lipsum}
@@ -76,19 +79,35 @@ \subsection{Within the paragraph} % (fold)
With fonts, less is more.
\marginnote{%
A \wikipedia{font} means a single size, style and weight of a particular typeface.
- Conversely, a \wikipedia{typeface} or font family is a set of fonts with stylistic unity.
-}
+ Conversely, a \wikipedia{typeface} or font family is a set of fonts with stylistic unity.}
\LaTeX{} makes it tempting to abuse of the many complete typefaces available, but emphasizing everything has the opposite effect: nothing really stands out anymore.
Normal paragraph text only needs a roman font and matching italic for emphasis.
-Technical publications often use a sans-serif or monospaced font as well, for instance to distinguish program identifiers from homonymous domain terms.
+It's often said that foreign locutions like \enquote{i.e.} or \enquote{et al.} should be emphasized but I think it's useless because they are so common in scientific English.
+Technical publications often use a sans-serif or monospaced font as well, to distinguish formal identifiers from homonymous domain terms.
+
+For emphasis, use the |\emph{}| command.
+Italic is the preferred way to emphasize text, because it's designed to make text stand out in the reading flow, but not in the page; conversely, bold text stands out visually by disturbing the typographic gray, so it should only be used when that is the intent ---dictionary entries, for instance.
+As for underlining, it is just a workaround to replace proper italics where they are not possible, like typewriters or handwriting; you can safely forget that it even exists.
\paragraph{Coordinate typefaces.}
Many document classes mix text typefaces that were not designed together.
You should of course pick typefaces with compatible aesthetic temperaments, but also ensure that they coordinate well visually.
For instance, many well-known publication templates use Times together with Helvetica, but while both have the same point size, they do not \emph{look} like it.
\marginnote{\wikipedia{X-height} matching is quite sensitive; discrepancies of a few percent easily stand out to the attentive eye.}
-Fortunately, \file{helvet.sty} and a few other typeface packages can adjust the scale of the font; pick the value to match the x-heights: |\usepackage[scaled=0.82]{helvet}|.
+Fortunately, \package{helvet} and a few other typeface packages can adjust the scale of the font; pick the value to match the x-heights: |\usepackage[scaled=0.82]{helvet}|.
+
+\paragraph{Small caps acronyms.}
+Acronyms in full caps are fine, but can be disturbing if they appear too frequently.
+One way to alleviate that is setting them like proper nouns, but that is only possible if the acronym is pronounced like a word, rather than spelled; periods are superfluous in either case.
+
+
+Otherwise, small caps are the solution.
+\marginnote{%
+ Proper small caps are \emph{not} scaled-down upper-case letters.
+ They have to be designed to match the line weight and general proportions of normal letters.}
+If your text font has proper small caps, they will make acronyms less obtrusive; \package{soul} provides the |\caps{}| command, which will even slightly letterspace its argument, for aesthetic purposes.
+Note that in the code, you should write the acronym in lower case; |\caps| will conserve upper-case letters, which can come handy if you need to begin a sentence by an acronym.
\begin{todoenv}
fonts, emphasis

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