# [NTG-context] difference between TeX behavior and ConTeXt

Lars Huttar lars_huttar at sil.org
Mon Dec 1 18:03:13 CET 2008

On 11/27/2008 3:57 AM, Taco Hoekwater wrote:
>
> Lars Huttar wrote:
>> something like this:
>>
>> 	switch to a serif style
>>
>> (if that's what \rm means in ConTeXt -- I still don't know for sure).
>
> \rm in ConTeXT means: switch to the internal style group named "rm"
> (and likewise for \ss -> "ss" etc.)
>
> Whether "rm" points to a group of fonts that actually have serifs
> attached to the glyph shapes depends totally on the specific typescript
> that is being used in the document (usually they will, and I think all
> the predefined typescripts are set up that way, but that is not a
> requirement at all).
>
> The basic idea is that the style "rm" switches to the font set used
> for the main portion of the text. "ss" is the style for supporting
> fixed-width text, (this gets it own special group because it is very
> often needed in manuals). "hw", and "cg" are variations for different
> forms of supporting texts, these are rarely used.
>
> Does it make more sense now?
>

Thank you, that helps a lot. I understand now that \rm is more abstract
than I'd initially thought... more powerful but also harder to predict.
Nevertheless useful generalizations can be made (as you showed) that are

I think it would be worthwhile to explain that in the manual you are
writing (if it doesn't already... sorry, I'm on a tight deadline now and
can't recheck!)... that the style "rm" switches to the font set used for
the main portion of the text, which typically is a serif font. I think
it would also be helpful to note that this switch does not (normally?)
affect italicization, because some TeX-world users will be coming in
with wrong expectations regarding "rm" and italics.

Best wishes,
Lars