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Inconsistent overfull boxes and line breaks between systems

TeX - LaTeX Asked on January 6, 2022

I have two systems, one running Debian and one running Ubuntu, and both have the latest version of TeX Live installed (TeX Live 2019/dev/Debian and TeX Live 2019) from their respective repositories. A paper I’m submitting is compiling significantly differently between these two systems, with inconsistent line breaks and overfull boxes.

Just by visual inspection Ubuntu is placing significantly more space following commas. For example, in the following example document Ubuntu produces an overfull box while the line easily fits on Debian (with even enough room left over for the equation tag).

documentclass[comsoc]{IEEEtran}
begin{document}
begin{equation} A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A,A end{equation}
end{document}

Since the output is not consistent between these systems, at least one must be in error, correct? How do I tell which has the bug? The date given on the log file is more recent on Ubuntu, but that log also says it’s using the L3 programming layer so how do I know if it’s a bug with that or not? I’ve checked that it’s not a problem with the document class as I’m using the same IEEEtran.cls on both systems.

Thanks for any help.

One Answer

Have you checked which fonts are used at both systems (used pdffonts filename.pdf on a Linux command line to see the fonts included/used by the files)? I would guess they are different and that is causing the differences.

Edit: As long as you do not explicitly define the font you want to be used within you document, you will see the "phenomenon" you described. But defining a font yourself is for sure, something the journal doesn't want to see.

Edit: You can try to install the standard MS True Type fonts on your Linux system. Search for the package "ttf-mscore" or "ttf_mscorefonts-installer". Besides Arial, Georgia and so one, you also get "Times New Roman". After installation, you might need to update the LaTeX font database in order to let LaTeX know about the new fonts.

Answered by susis strolch on January 6, 2022

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