[pdftex] xetex and pdftex

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Fri Sep 4 22:26:25 CEST 2009

In theory xetex should be pdftex with enhanced font handling 
capability.  Indeed xetex bypasses the whole mapping and tfm file 
structures that we have lived with for so many years.  I love that 
it goes to the general system font repository (/usr/share/fonts in 
my case) and uses meaningful font names.

Unfortunately it has so many other limitations to be practically 
unusable.  For example \pdfhorigin no longer works.  
\letterspacing no longer works. Hanging punctuation and 
microtypography don't seem to work. Even quotation marks 
cannot be created in the usual fashion. 

Is there a way to use the new font handling without losing all 
these other other features?

No, I thought not. But it never hurts to ask. 

John Culleton
"Create Book Covers with Scribus"

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