[Tex/LaTex] use \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}


As a native English speaker, I've mostly been allowed the luxury of pretending that ASCII is enough, and have been able to treat font encodings as not my problem. I've seen lots of advice that I ought to include \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} in my preamble. (See, for instance, p. 337 of The LaTeX Companion.) What isn't really adequately explained is why I ought to do so.

So, if I am writing in English and have to make only occasional use of things like G\"odel, what does following the advice really get me?

Best Answer

Note that this is font encoding (determines what kind of font is used), not input encoding.

The default font encoding (OT1) of TeX is 7-bit and uses fonts that have 128 glyphs, and so do not include the accented characters as individual glyphs. So a letter ö is made by adding an accent to the existing 'o' glyph.

The T1 font encoding is an 8-bit encoding and uses fonts that have 256 glyphs. So an 'ö' is an actual single glyph in the font. Many of the older fonts have had T1 variants devised for them as well, and many newer fonts are available only in T1. I think "Computer Modern" was originally OT1, and "Latin Modern" is T1. (Look at OT1 font encoding and T1 font encoding.)

If you don't use \usepackage[T1]{fontenc},