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Date:         Tue, 6 May 2008 17:19:18 -0500
Reply-To:     Hebrew TeX list <[log in to unmask]>
Sender:       Hebrew TeX list <[log in to unmask]>
From:         "Charles P. Schaum" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Some typographic measurements
Content-Type: text/plain

Hello, Since there is some discussion about size and height related to Hebrew/English text, I thought that I would make some comparisons: Gesenius/Kautzsch/Cowley Hebrew grammar This text by OUP (Clarendon) sets the line of the patah on the baseline, puts an equivalent hairline width of WS over that, then has the ex height of the letters rise to the cap height of the English ascenders. Superscripted diacritics/tonals appear to flow into the interlineal space, while subscripted diacritics/tonals take the space from the baseline to the bottom of the descenders. The letters themselves tend to have an ex height that is dissimilar to a Latin script and they fill not only the cap height but also descend in cases of final forms and quoph. Weingreen Hebrew grammar The text uses variable ex height to try and set the nikud, consonants & diacritics within a consistent type height. Bartelt/Steinman Hebrew/Aramaic grammar This is made by the firm I work for. The type height goes from the serif at the top of the lamed to the bottom of kap & friends, with all nikud, cantillation, etc. within that range. The ex height appears to include the horizontal top stroke of the lamed and go to the baseline, and it equals the type height of the corresponding English text capitals. The book uses loose vertical spacing that accommodates the Hebrew type height so, even though it is bigger, that appearance is attenuated. Thus, everything figures to the ex height/type height of the Hebrew to balance the text. Jouon / Muraoka Hebrew grammar The Hebrew font basically chops the descenders and keeps the ex height of the Hebrew to the ex height of the English, with marks in the ascender/descender space. I think that this looks quite unattractive. Holladay ed. of Koehler-Baumgartner Lexicon Hebrew ex type height goes from baseline to cap height of Latin type, The serif on the lamed and the nikud take extra top space and the lower marks occupy the descenders' area. The English text is spaced out to accommodate the Hebrew. BDB lexicon Tends to follow similar conventions to Gesenius, varies, and is generally inelegant. Lissowsky appears to have been hand-crafted. Hope this helps. Maybe some kind of standard macro structure needs to be employed where either different font metrics live in nested boxes or some kind of environment can be established that makes the different ex and em heights play nice. It appears, however, that this is more than something one font can do on its own; this is an issue of setting nested environments and having them work well together. Just a few thoughts from a theological editor that dabbles in design. Charles


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