[texworks] XeLaTeX Typsetting tool

Charlie Sharpsteen chuck at sharpsteen.net
Sat Jul 16 17:05:15 CEST 2011

On Sat, Jul 16, 2011 at 12:54 AM, Paul A Norman <paul.a.norman at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> Just wondering if any one know of a good web site covering
> whether/when to use XeLaTeX or not.

Have you ever dropped by the TeX Stackexchange? It is the perfect place to
find answers to such questions:


Here's a question that asks about the differences between XeTeX and LuaTeX
(which are the engines that power XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX):


Also a question that asks about XeTeX/LuaTeX compared to pdfTeX and if there
are any drawbacks:


Remember that LuaTeX is under heavy development, so issues mentioned last
year may not be present in TeX Live 2011. And of course, all the questions
tagged as having to do with XeTeX **and** LuaTeX:


> Looked at http://wiki.xelatex.org/doku.php?id=start but I ma no
> clearer as to the status of XeLaTeX - having seen remarks around the
> web that it does not yet work with all the packages that pdfLaTeX
> does, just wondering what the status of XeLaTeX is please - any
> pointers/ appreciated.
> Paul

The main things you get with both XeTeX and LuaTeX are native UTF-8 support
and access to system fonts---both of which are difficult to achieve under
pdfTeX. Compatibility issues with LaTeX have generally been worked
out---however a key difference to be aware of is that internally XeTeX
compiles to DVI and then creates a PDF using `dvipdfmx` while LuaTeX
compiles directly to PDF just like pdfTeX does. So, any packages which
are dependent on the "direct-to-PDF" pipeline of pdfTeX may have issues
under XeTeX.

Personally, I get the feeling that XeTeX has more active users with more
collective years of usage behind it __right now__ and thus is more stable
and tested. LuaTeX is still officially in beta but has powered the ConTeXt
MK IV engine for quite a while which makes a good argument for its
stability. LuaTeX also adds many more features and is the officially
designates successor to pdfTeX, so  I expect it will eventually eclipse
XeTeX in usage in the years to come.

Some data points---one of my college buddies who really got me into TeX
switched to XeLaTeX about a year ago and has been loving it. He recently
started his Ph. D. work so he gets some heavy usage out of the engine.

Personally, I'm slowly drifting from pdfTeX to LuaTeX.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://tug.org/pipermail/texworks/attachments/20110716/666b1cbc/attachment.html>

More information about the texworks mailing list