George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Mar 17 20:49:21 CET 2007

On 3/16/07, Robin Fairbairns <Robin.Fairbairns at cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

> Reinhard Kotucha <reinhard.kotucha at web.de> wrote:
>
> > >>>>> "Rodolfo" == Rodolfo Medina <rodolfo.medina at gmail.com> writes:
> >
> >   >> If you don't know how to use fonts in plain TeX, why don't you
> >   >> use LaTeX?  Everything is easier there.
> >
> >   > I know how to use the default plain TeX fonts as described in the
> >   > TeXbook, which is enough to compose documents in plain TeX format.
> >
> > If this is enough, what's the problem?  BTW, the LaTeX macros are
> > partly written in plain TeX but they make heavy use of other macros
> > defined in the LaTeX kernel.  Thus it is quite hard to translate them
> > to plain TeX.  Especially the font selection and encoding stuff is
> > extremely complex and if you want to have the same functionality in
> > plain TeX it's better to switch to LaTeX.
>
> actually, things have changed there (at least as far as i can tell --
> maybe the macros were there all along and i only learned about them when
> the need to catalogue arose).  see
>
>   http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=fonts-pln
>
> i doubt the knowledge will convert many latex users, but the faq answer
> is there in the hope that it will help plain tex users.

The FAQ has helped me, and now xetex is yet another tool that is very
easy for people who don't need maths.  The following works in
TL2007 on linux:

% xetex version of story.tex
% uses unicode chars for emdash, quotes, \"U, etc.
\font\rm="Charis SIL"
\font\it="Charis SIL/I"
\font\bf="Charis SIL/B"
\nopagenumbers
\rm
\hrule
\vskip 1in
\centerline{\bf A SHORT STORY}
\vskip 6pt
\centerline{\it by A. U. Thor} % !??! (modified)
\vskip .5cm
Once upon a time, in a distant
galaxy called Ööç %\"O\"o\c c,
there lived a computer
named R.~J. Drofnats.

Mr.~Drofnats—or "R. J.", as
he preferred to be called—% error has been fixed!
was happiest when he was at work
typesetting beautiful documents.
\vskip 1in
\hrule
\vfill\eject
\end
$xetex x-story This is XeTeXk, Version 3.141592-2.2-0.996 (Web2C 7.5.6) %&-line parsing enabled. entering extended mode (./x-story.tex [1] ) Output written on x-story.pdf (1 page). Transcript written on x-story.log.$ pdffonts x-story.pdf
name                                 type         emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ------------ --- --- --- ---------
XLIPVZ+CharisSIL-Bold                CID TrueType yes yes yes      5  0
MLTWYV+CharisSIL-Italic              CID TrueType yes yes yes      7  0
GOPHXO+CharisSIL                     CID TrueType yes yes yes      9  0

The result has much darker glyphs than you get with the CM fonts, and