Times New Roman, compulsory?
Hi, I'm new to the forum and first of all I'd like to thank the Trisquel team for making an awesome operating system. I've been using "Toutatis" since RC2 and it's great!
Here is my question, can a public institution, in particular a university, force you to use the font type Times New Roman for your thesis and other works, such as papers? It is the case of a friend of mine.
I believe there has to be some kind of standard (margins, font size, structure...), but is making a propietary font standard right?
And since the license of this font is propietary (says Wikipedia), is it therefore incompatible with free software, such as LibreOffice for example?
I know that Liberation Serif is exactly size-compatible with Times New Roman, and size (with all its nuances in fonts) is what the standards are concerned about. I haven't met any teacher that refuses to accept a paper in Liberation Serif when the standard calls for Times New Roman, and I don't think they can even tell the difference.
I think some other fonts are size-compatible with Times New Roman and other popular proprietary fonts, but I'm not sure. I just know about the Liberation fonts.
> Here is my question, can a public institution, in particular a
> university, force you to use the font type Times New Roman for your
> thesis and other works, such as papers? It is the case of a friend of
They can do anything.
> I believe there has to be some kind of standard (margins, font size,
> structure...), but is making a propietary font standard right?
It's not right, and the rest of the standard probably aren't right too
for different reasons (e.g. much software uses narrow margins by
default, making text too wide and harder to read).
> And since the license of this font is propietary (says Wikipedia), is
> it therefore incompatible with free software, such as LibreOffice for
They most probably won't notice if you use Nimbus Roman No9 L instead
(the only differences that I notice are in the "S" serif slant and in
I would advise FreeSerif instead.
I've faced a similar situation before, the only difference is that I went on a 'thermonuclear war' with the university administration citing Fundamental Rights, human rights, unconstitutional behaviour and such things. They had to change the instructions to include 'Times New Roman or a similar serif font'.
I'm aware that not everyone has the time or inspiration to do such a thing, but fortunately there are alternatives. The best will be to use the Liberation Serif, or Tinos from chromium projet(under the Apache license). The latter has better hinting and more glyphs, including cryllic and others.
This reminds me of a time when I was in high school. I had just started using Trisquel 4.1 and I was assigned an essay. One of the requirements was that the font used was Times New Roman.
I actually spent hours trying to find a similar font before settling with Nimbus Roman No9 L. It looked really good, so, happily I continued on, writing my essay. It was a 100 point essay too, so it was fairly big.
I turned it in, pretty proud of my work. However, when I got it back, I had gotten 60/100. Why?
"Didn't use Times New Roman". Seriously. I was pissed. I talked to my instructor at the time and told him that I don't use Windows or Mac OS, and that I use GNU/Linux, and that I had spent a good couple of hours trying to find a similar font.
He had none of it. He assumed every computer came with Times New Roman, and that I was just making this up to not use Times New Roman. Honestly, he shouldn't have cared as long as it was a Serif font, but no, apparently I was somehow cheating on the paper by not using a proprietary font.
So, whatever. I accepted the 60/100 because of how ridiculous it was. I would've taken it to administration but I didn't bother for some reason I can't remember, though it does really sicken me to this day.
It really is sickening when schools not only encourage, but require use of nonfree software. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, students encourage it in the name of "using technology" or something similar.
Requiring use of Times New Roman is one of the smaller offenses.
I couldn't agree more. Schools of all institutions for crying loud!
Great values that teaches: subservient dependence, egocentricity and willful ignorance.
Thanks a lot for your answers! I didn't know Nimbus Roman no9, which I find almost identical to Times New Roman. FreeSerif and LiberationSerif are also quite similar. Metrically equivalent (and free) fonts are a good alternative, if teachers and instructors are willing to accept it.
If not, I think everyone should do (or at least try to do in some way) what grvrulz did.
Any student who sees this requirement should immediately object on religious and ethical grounds. It is not relevant to ones academics.
I don't think they would accept it as "religious", but that would be an amazing and useful hack: creating a "religion" of software freedom. It wouldn't even be a total lie, since we do object to nonfree software on moral grounds. That would eliminate their ability to push us aside so easily: we could simply say "that goes against my religious beliefs", and that would be the end of the discussion.
It would only be easily usable by atheists, though (how would a Christian or Muslim explain something like that?), and it could make enemies of people we don't need to make enemies with (very religious people, anti-religious people), so for the moment, at least, best to keep that idea in the "interesting thought experiments" section.
We must consult St. IGNUcius of the Church of Emacs in regard to such issues.
Tinos, what I use, is the modern version of Liberation Serif and can be obtained from https://code.google.com/p/noto/wiki/FontList
When I was in college a few years ago, I remember them being strict with the 12 pt Times New Roman font. Many times they would want you to email it to them which would expose you if you used an alternative font and "broke" their style rules. Of course at the time I was using Windows and having the font on the system wasn't a big deal.
Ideally, the professors would take the papers in PDF format which would embed the font if the PDF/A-1 standard was followed. The problem is that a professor uses Office on their Windows or Mac and would sometimes add comments to the .doc/.docx file.
In a way I can understand why they would want a uniform font because having to read multiple papers in a row with varied fonts and sizes can annoy them. It's a shame that it has to be Times New Roman.
In the case where you need to send an electronic copy to a teacher, you can just set the font to "Times New Roman". You don't need the font to be on your system to do so. In LibreOffice, for example, just type "Times New Roman" as the font name rather than selecting a font from the list.
If you have to send a PDF (which embeds the font used), you can still pretend to be using "Times New Roman" and LibreOffice Writer just chooses a Times New Roman-compatible font (it seems to use Liberation Serif in my case). I don't know if this is noticeable if you look at the data in the PDF, but if a teacher complains about it, say "I tried my best, I don't HAVE Times New Roman so you'll just have to deal with this font which I do have and which is exactly compatible with the font you wanted".
You pretty much just answered the original poster's question by them sticking with the metrically compatible Liberation Serif/Tinos fonts to type the paper and if it has to be sent digitally, change the font to Times New Roman, save, and send. You may not have it installed, but it will show up to any user that has it installed.
If the paper has to be printed, it can create an issue if the font doesn't match Times New Roman even if the font is metrically compatible. Like someone said earlier, FreeSerif is one of the best looking Serif fonts that comes close to the look of Times New Roman even if it isn't exactly metrically compatible as Liberation/Tinos.
How can this be fixed for the future? The FreeSerif devs actually pride themselves in not being a Times New Roman clone but if a student uses it, we don't want another 60/100 grade scenario again.
If there is no compromise for the font according to the teacher and it must be printed, should the student type the paper in Liberation/Tinos, install the Times New Roman font, change the font to Times, print the paper, and then remove the Times New Roman font immediately?
I mentioned before that none of my teachers have ever noticed when I used Liberation Serif. I imagine Tinos is similarly difficult to distinguish FreeSerif, though, I know from observation is quite different, so there's no way it would pass.
If your teacher is being a nitpick about it, I'd say don't just give up there; insist on them accepting these almost metrically identical fonts like Liberation Serif.
One other possible tactic, if a teacher stubbornly believes that everyone has Times New Roman, is you can tell (and show) them that Liberation Serif is "your Times New Roman" (because LibreOffice uses Liberation Serif if you tell it to use Times New Roman). I would say that this is only an acceptable choice if your teacher is particularly stubborn; it would be far better for them to actually understand that some people just don't have the same fonts they do.
They are going to tell you that if you can't comply with there rules use a school computer. You don't have to say it is a religious issue. You can simply state it is an ethical issue and this has never been an issue in the past. It has no educational benefit and you feel it is an unreasonable requirement.
If it is an online class or if you are typing the paper at home (like most people), then it is unethetical. No state run academic institutions should allow teachers or professors to mark down a student's grade based on the font used.
The OS X does not have Times New Roman. "Times New Roman" and "Arial" are from Microsoft. Apple uses "Helvetica" and "Times". (one little difference)
If you recommend "Times New Roman" you recommend only the "Microsoft Windows".