# [NTG-context] How to switch between fonts?

Dear font experts!

For some weeks I try very hard to generate minimal PDF documents using the PDF base 14 fonts. Now the following problem popped up:

The Helvitica, Times, and Courier fonts have "8a" as their default encoding. Unfortunately, the 8a encoding is somewhat incomplete because it misses some characters (eg. the degree character). In TeX I use texnansi encoding because it offers most of the special characters that I need.

If I use 8a encoding for the PDF document (in order to avoid reencoding) then the degree symbol is typeset by an embedded "txsy" font. The bad thing about this solution is that this degree character does not take care of \bf, \it, or \bi. Therefore the result is unsatisfactory.

If I use texnansi encoding for the PDF document then the degree symbol is typeset nicely. The disadvantage of this option is that now the built-in fonts are always reencoding which make some additional 2kb for the PDF document. I would like to have the reeconded font to be used only if it is really necessary.

Now I see two problems:

1. A particual problem in this situation

Is it possible to define font synonymes locally (i.e. inside a group)? In that case I could map the virtual fonts that are base on 8a encoded raw fonts into virtual fonts that are based on texnansi reencoded raw fonts.

I tried that but it seems that font synonymes are accepted only at the beginning.

2. A general problem

Provided that I write a set of typescripts for defining a typeface similar to the postscript typefaces of ConTeXt but based on other (virtual) fonts: is it possible to switch between these two typefaces. The switch must respect the current font characteristics (i.e. \ss, \rm, \tt, \bf, \it, \bi, and size).

Thanks for your attention,
--Stefan

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