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Re: On typesetting

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg76664] Re: [mg76605] On typesetting
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Fri, 25 May 2007 06:41:21 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <f2u57d$k2n$> <> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

I don't see any problem on-screen in Mathematica with the fraction bar 
position relative to minus signs that your pdf sample shows.

The line spacing when an equation is embedded definitely is bad when the 
text is printed, but it looks OK to me on-screen.

Selwyn Hollis wrote:
> One of the things I had hoped for in Mathematica 6 was improvement in  
> its typesetting. I admit that I'm probably more picky about this sort  
> of thing than most, but beautifully typeset mathematics is so common  
> nowadays that sloppy typesetting really sticks out like a sore thumb  
> to someone with an eye for such things. Now of course people have  
> different tastes and preferences for some aspects of spacing,  
> heights, script sizes, and so on, and Mathematica does allow user  
> control of much of that, but there is one particular aspect over  
> which the only control is a lot of tedious tweaking. Basically,  
> AutoSpacing does a very poor job with multiplication spacing.  
> Multiplication spaces are generally too wide, and on-screen they are  
> horribly inconsistent. Apparently, loose spacing is preferred at WRI  
> (which may be related to TeXForm's insistence upon putting \, spaces  
> everywhere), and that's fine. As best I can tell, a multiplication  
> space usually amounts to a \[ThinSpace], or 3/18 em. I find that much  
> space horribly loose in most cases. A \[VeryThinSpace], or 1/18 em,  
> is usually too thin, but often preferable. To my taste, 2/18 em would  
> probably be a good compromise.
> I've discovered that a ZeroWidthTimes option has been introduced with  
> 6.0, so apparently someone at WRI is thinking about these things. But  
> ZeroWidthTimes->True only causes the exact opposite problem. Why not  
> a TimesWidth option with "Tight", "Normal", and "Loose" as possible  
> values?
> In addition, Mathematica 6 has introduced two rather egregious new  
> typesetting "issues:"
> (1) Embedding equations in text ruins line-spacing. There is excess  
> space below any line that contains an equation, even if the equation  
> is as simple as y=x.
> (2) In fractions set with ScriptLevel->0, the distance between the  
> bar and the numerator's baseline has ballooned to almost the x-height  
> of the font.
> I have prepared a brief pdf document showing various comparisons that  
> I hope make all this clearer. See it here:
> - Selwyn Hollis

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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