[Tex/LaTex] suddenly get an auto expansion error


On files that have worked previously, I'm suddenly getting the following error

! pdfTeX error (font expansion): auto expansion is only possible with scalable fonts.

This error does not appear if I switch back to TexLive-2012, did not appear until recently in TexLive-2013, and seems to be triggered by the use of the mathdesign package's expert option along with the Charter typeface and microtype: that is


produces the error, while


does not. To support the expert option, I have (purchased) bchrc8a.pfb located in /usr/local/texmf-local/fonts/type1/bitstrea/charter/, and if I disable microtype I get a different error:

!pdfTeX error: pdflatex (file bchrc8a): Font bchrc8a at 600 not found

so I suspect that my problems result from TexLive-2103 not finding this file, but I'm at a loss as to how to fix it.

This error only appears in fairy complex and lengthy documents, so it is hard for me to produce an good MWE (I'm working on it) but since it seems to be the result of some higher-level configuration issue, I'm hoping that this can be resolved without resorting to a specific example file.

A "partial" MWE, that produces only the second, file not found, error is:


%omitting 'expert' above produces no error

\textsc{Small Caps}    
Regular text.    

In my working files, I use a custom document class based on Tufte-LaTeX, if that rings any bells.

Best Answer

That's a bug in the virtual font mdbchrc8t.vf: It refers to font bchrc8a

   (FONTNAME bchrc8a) <---- here
   (FONTCHECKSUM O 6722646267)
   (FONTAT R 1.0)
   (FONTDSIZE R 10.0)

and so the small caps fonts fails (the "font expansion" error is a side-effect of the overall failure). At this place there should be something like md-chr8t. Write the author of the fonts a bug report.