This post is a quick annoucement that I changed the main text and math fonts and hopefully for the better.
Background: This blog runs on WordPress, using an almost vanilla TwentyEleven theme and using the QuickLaTeX plugin for math typesetting. But while WordPress uses a default sans-serif font (it explicitly prefers Helvetica but also accepts any lookalike) the default font in is usually Computer Modern, a completely difference typeface. So with standard settings, there was always going to be a font mismatch between text and math.
In order to mitigate this, I previously found Computer Modern Bright as an alternative font (see the old announcement post) that is a better match with Helvetica. CM Bright is one of the few sans-serif fonts in that has full math support. But CM Bright also has issues, for example it is hard distinguish lowercase l from uppercase I, and some of the generated SVGs do not render correctly, especially if they are images of single letters.
Now I switched the main body text to Times, or whatever the browser’s default serif font is. This is then combined with the newtx-package on the -side, so now text and math use the same font (at least theoretically). See how this turns out for yourself:
a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
The top row is text-mode (your browser’s version of Times or a substitute), the bottom row is math-mode (a rendered SVG image by ). In both cases, the requested font size is explicitly 16 pixels. It is expected that the match is not perfect, especially that the metrics will be slightly different, but overall it should be an improvement. I am aware that common wisdom usually says that serif fonts are bad for online viewing, but hasn’t this advice become obsolete with high-DPI displays? And boy does the Times font look sharp and serious! Every blog post now automatically looks like a paper.