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Chapter 7. Fonts and Encodings > 7.9. The low-level interface

7.9. The low-level interface

While the high-level font commands are intended for use in a document, the low-level commands are mainly for defining new commands in packages or in the preamble of a document; see also Section 7.9.4. To make the best use of such font commands, it is helpful to understand the internal organization of fonts in LaTeX’s font selection scheme (NFSS).

One goal of LaTeX’s font selection scheme is to allow rational font selection, with algorithms guided by the principles of generic markup. For this purpose, it would be desirable to allow independent changes for as many font attributes as possible. On the other hand, font families in real life normally contain only a subset of the myriad imaginable font attribute combinations. Therefore, allowing independent changes in too many attributes results in too many combinations for which no real (external) font is available and a default has to be substituted.


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