# [NTG-context] A font question.

Taco Hoekwater taco at elvenkind.com
Fri Dec 23 08:45:00 CET 2005

Hi John,

John R. Culleton wrote:
> I use Context for highly formatted non-fiction, but I am a bit
> reluctant to use it for much of my work because of the strange
> (to me) font handling arrangements. I see no purpose for the
> multiple synonyms of the same font. That just adds layers of
> extra work.

It also adds layers of configurability. Clearly you do not
need that (your font setups is extremely simple and low-level),
but lots of other people do. For example, I have documents that
use 6 totally different font sets, because all 'examples' and
'definitions' are typeset in font families that differ from
the normal text font family. It would be a nightmare if I had to
define and remember the 200+ font definitions by hand.

> If the page comes up a line short because of strict widow
> prevention then the extra space is distributed imperceptibly
> among the lines.

It is only imperceptible if the paper you print on does not
shine through at all, and if you use a noteblock (head) binding
instead of book (back) binding, so it is not something I would
recommend for general use.

> This kind of fine tuning by users is perhaps foreign to Context as it now
> exists. Font sizes are in fixed steps for one thing.

The fixed steps (of .1pt) are actually an optimization, and it
is possible to circumvent that, using either

\chardef\fontdigits=2

or

\def\normalizebodyfontsize#1\to#2{\setvalue{#2}{#1}}

> So here is my question. If I set up my own font definition
> system and as part of it I have statements like:
> \font\tfa bchr8r at 10.45pt
> \font\tfb bchr8r at 11.37pt
> ...
> ... will the rest of Context accept the above tfb font and size in places
> where a heading macro automatically defaults to tfb?

Only if you never make any \{setup,switchto}bodyfont switches after
your new font definitions.

Cheers,

Taco