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A Thought…

Editors would sometimes explain to newbies the importance of knowing the facts before setting thoughts down. One of my favorite editor’s explanation?

“Know the difference between a burro and a burrow — in other words, know the difference between your ass and a hole in the ground.”

   — Dru, Calvin and Hobbes comic letters

Some online resources

Posted on 2017-Mar-08 at 20:16:16 by Phil
Last update on 2017-Mar-09 at 10:07:33 by Phil

Here are some bookmarks that I’ve collected over time, that might prove useful, or at least, an interesting read…

General Typography

  • Kerning — Space adjustments between letters (usually closing up a bit) to eliminate wasted space or prevent overlap.
  • Ligatures — An introduction to tying multiple letters into one glyph. Note that you do not want to blindly replace letter pairs or triplets by ligatures, but only where appropriate (e.g., shelfful is shelf+ful modifying suffix, so you don’t use the “ff” ligature here).
  • Letter Spacing — Compressing or expanding words by adjusting overall letter spacing (not to be confused with Kerning, which is specific letter pairs).
  • Word Spacing — Adjusting the amount of space between words for improved readability. Note that Word Spacing interacts with Leading — be careful not to trick the eye into jumping up or down to the next sentence (by having too much space between words and too little between sentence baselines).
  • Leading — Setting the amount of space between sentence baselines to maximize readability while minimizing paper usage.
  • Sentence Spacing — How much space to put between the end of one sentence and the start of the next? Most authorities consider typewriter-style double spaces to be too wide.

Lists and Related


  • The Beauty of LaTeX — An introduction to the capabilities of the LaTeX processor.
  • Font Forge — Building your own fonts.
  • wkHTMLtoPDF — One of a number of converters to turn HTML into PDF (or into an image). Note that it has a number of limitations and issues.

Fonts and the Like

  • NoTo Font Project — One Font Project To Rule Them All… or at least to avoid any undefined characters.
  • Tiny Hands Font — Guess whose tiny hands are being satirized?

General CSS

  • @font-face — How to tell a browser to download a font file, rather than relying only on its own built-in fonts.
  • Vertical Writing Modes for CJK — Writing (mostly CJK languages) vertically, using CSS.

PDF-specific Issues

  • PDF’s 200 inch limit — PDF by default is limited to 200 inch height and width, but one can get around it.
  • Open Type and PDF — Addressing PDF problems with non-Western fonts (especially Indic fonts) where characters get tightly tied into syllables within words, modifying their form.
  • “lang” in HTML and Application to PDF — Some HTML-to-PDF converters don’t use the “lang” attribute.


  • Embedding SVG — Build composite characters and graphical logos and such (also see the separate discussion on this board).

    CAUTION: At this time, my browser anti-malware blocks some content on this page, claiming it is a known malware spreader. Use with care!


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