Jeremias Maerki wrote:

Still trying to fix my problem with letter-spacing and fixed width
spaces. Do I understand that correctly that XSL-FO's view of
letter-spacing is different than, say, PDF's? PDF's character spacing (PDF 1.4, 5.2.1) is designed so it advances the cursor for each (!)
character by the Tc value.

Yes, I remember that when I was working on letter spacing it took me a while to understand what was wrong with the resulting pdf! :-)


|_t__e__x__t_  _t__e__x__t_  _t__e__x__t_|

At the moment, fop has

  |t__e__x__t  t__e__x__t  t__e__x__t|

in other words there are letter spaces only between letters, and not between a letter and a space.

The recommendation states that "The algorithm for resolving the adjusted values between word spacing and letter spacing is User Agent dependent." (7.17.2 in the candidate recommendation), so I think this is not a wrong behaviour: it just assumes that word spaces have a higher precedence than letter spaces.

Another little difference: each letter space depends on the preceding letter size, instead of depending on both the preceding and following letters sizes; but this has some visible effect only when a word is composed of letters having different sizes.

PDF's character spacing would work like this, I think (although the last
character space needs to be eliminated by the layout manager [1]):

|t__e__x__t__  __t__e__x__t__  t__e__x__t|(__) <-- [1]

This is why the word spacing adjustment stored in the textAreas is not the computed one, but is specifically modified in order to counterbalance the 2 letter spaces that the pdf will add.

If I'm right here (not really sure, that's why I'm asking), it would
mean that we should probably stop using the Tc feature from PDF and
instead control the glyph positioning ourselves like we already do in


As long as we have just two character categories (letter / spaces) the two pdf operators were enough.

Now, with fixed width spaces too, which should be unaffected by the both word spacing (such being different from spaces) and letter spacing (differing from normal letters), two operators are too few.

I don't think we need to set the horizontal positioning of each character or word, but just fix the placement of a character sequence following a fixed width space, removing the letter spaces wrongly added by the Tc operator, alternating character sequences and horizontal adjustments in the TJ array.



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