[texhax] xetex: using fonts with missing glyphs

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Mon Nov 29 17:32:16 CET 2010

Am Fri, 26 Nov 2010 13:57:11 +0100 schrieb Susan Dittmar:

> Hi folks,
> I just did my first steps with xelatex and immediately ran into a problem.
> I would like to use a font which has only a very sparse set of glyphs. Even
> comma and fullstop are missing.
> Is there an easy way to tell xelatex which font to use as fallback for
> missing glyphs? (This is for glyphs that are missing completely, like the
> comma.)
> Is there an easy way to tell xelatex on a case-by-case basis which
> glyph (or combination of glyphs) to use for a special missing glyph? (This
> is for glyphs that can be replaced by existing glyphs.)

No not as far as I know. When a glyph is missing you get whatever 
the font provides for a ".notdef" glyph. This can be a space, 
nothing, or a special glyph. It is up to you to ensure that you use 
only glyphs present in the font. (In theory it is possible to test 
if a glyph exists in a font, but this is useful only if you need 
such a test only in a small number of cases.) 

Things are probably different in luatex. There it is perhaps 
possible to build a virtual font which combines glyphs from two font 

Ulrike Fischer 

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