SUMMARY: How to "fix" a proportional font?

From: G W 'Hap' Hinrichs III (
Date: Thu Jul 28 1994 - 23:17:34 CDT

Ladies and Gentlemen:

As I feared the answer seems to be you can't get there from here (at
least without a PostScript guru) and you probably wouldn't like it
if you could. I will investigate finding better-looking monospace
fonts. Thanks to the responders whose detailed answers and the
original request are below.

| Hap Hinrichs G W Hinrichs, III |
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Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am looking for help in finding a way to use the normal
Postscript proportional fonts as fixed width fonts so
that users can print relatively arbitrary files (programs,
reports, etc.) in some font other than Courier and have
things look reasonable (columns line up, etc.). The
environment is SunOS 4.1.x, Sun LaserWriter IIs, Transcript.

From: garrett@athena.SDSU.Edu (Garrett D'Amore)

You must not know very much about PostScript. You'd have to create your
own downloadable font with different metrics in it. A nasty business.

A better deal is to look for a monospace font (there are others that
look nicer than Courier) and use it instead.

A third option is write your own PostScript programs that adjust the
spacing for you.

Options one and three require a PostScript guru. Hence I recommend option
number two. Other options may exist, but I can't think of them right now.


From: (Perry Hutchison)

It is possible to add a Metrics dictionary to a font in order
to change its character spacing, but the result of printing a
proportional font in fixed spacing is just about guaranteed to
look terrible. Much better would be to invest in some different
fixed-pitch fonts.

American Typewriter would be one possibility, but I have never seen
it and it may not look all that different from Courier. I have seen
examples of a fixed-pitch sans-serif called Letter Gothic from an
Interpress printer; if this font is available for PostScript it would
be worth considering. A less-obvious possibility is an OCR font --
these are fixed-pitch and OCRb does not look anywhere near as strange
as one might expect. (You probably do not want OCRa, which looks like
stone carving. There are few if any curves.)

More ideas might be forthcoming from comp.lang.postscript or comp.fonts
if you have the ability to post to newsgroups.


From: Mike Raffety <>

Using a proportional font with fixed-width spacing looks VERY ugly. I've
seen it done, usually by accident. Stick with Courier, or some font
MEANT to be fixed-width. :)


From: (Frank Greco)

        Use enscript.

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