[XeTeX] math

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Sep 6 17:40:38 CEST 2007

On 6 Sep 2007, at 3:49 pm, Scott Murman wrote:

> On Sep 5, 2007, at 3:24 PM, Jonathan Kew wrote:
>> As an example, I'm attaching a PDF that shows a small equation set
>> entirely in Cambria, and then the same thing set in a mixture of
>> Minion Pro (alphanumerics) and Cambria (large operators, etc). The
>> spacing (e.g. of "f(x)") is sometimes less than ideal...
> Jonathon, how much more work is it to input the symbols with unicode,
> rather than tex?

That would depend entirely on what kind of input methods you have.

>   one of the love-hate issues with tex is the math
> input - i.e. \pi is fast and easy to remember, whereas Ctl-Alt-
> Shift-6 is never going to catch on.  my understanding is that there
> is a brave group trying to map input method 2 to input method 1 for
> general work.  is this correct?

I'm not sure exactly what you mean here, but it's certainly possible  
to support many input methods at the OS level, so that literal  
Unicode characters, symbols, etc., could be typed using various  
conventions, including TeX-like if desired. That's up to the OS and  
the text editing software you use to get text into files.

Then, independent of this, there's also the fact that XeTeX can  
happily support both literal Unicode input and "traditional" control  
sequences, and map both to the same Unicode characters in fonts.  
Thus, my little math test file actually includes both forms of the  

$$f(x)=a_0+\sum^\infty_{n=1}\left(a_n\cos{n\pi x\over L}+b_n\sin{n\pi  
x\over L}\right)$$
$$f(x)=a_0+·^°_{n=1}\left(a_n\cos{n¹x\over L}+b_n\sin{n¹x\over L} 

These are synonymous and result in identical output.

So the fact that we're working towards Unicode math doesn't mean you  
have to give up TeX input conventions, if you're happy with them. But  
it will *also* be possible to enter any of thousands of Unicode  
characters directly using whatever keyboard utilities, palettes, etc  
your OS or editor may provide, or to copy and paste them from other  
sources, etc. Work with whatever suits you best.


More information about the XeTeX mailing list