# [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
equation:

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

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.

JK