[XeTeX] ledmac in XeTeX?

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Jun 10 12:18:37 CEST 2004

On 10 Jun 2004, at 10:53 am, Somadevah at aol.com wrote:

>  In a message dated 10/6/04 10:45:46 am, bvoisin at mac.com writes:
> I don't use Ledmac (or know what it is), but I have noticed that fonts
>  can have an influence on the baselineskip in XeTeX: if you use Hoefler
>  Text, for example, in a document originally compiled in LaTeX with CM
>  fonts, the baselineskip won't be altered, but if you use Optima, which
>  seems to have different metrical parameters, the baselineskip will get
>  bigger and not follow that normally specified in size12.clo.
>  Dear Bruno,
>  many thanks for this. Did you find a way to set the \baselineskip to 
> whatever you want? Ledmac is a set of macros that you can use to 
> typeset critical editions with multiple levels (or registers) of 
> footnotes referenced by line numbers. Very useful for me. The problem 
> is not just that the baselineskip is different, but that it is 
> inconsistent, changing at various points (whereever the footnotes are 
> called?). The notes themselves look even worse. Evidently, it would be 
> a huge job to rewrite such a set of macros as ledmac. 
>  It would be fantastic to be able to use XeTeX for such critical 
> editing of texts, using multiple scripts in the notes for testimonia 
> etc.

Most likely, you're using a font whose ascent and descent metrics are 
big enough that \lineskip is coming into play. Working with AAT (or OT) 
fonts, XeTeX doesn't have true height and depth metrics for individual 
characters; it gets the overall font dimensions and simply pretends 
that all words have those vertical dimensions. (This may change at some 

You can ensure that your chosen \baselineskip is used, despite what the 
font dimensions suggest to XeTeX, if you set \lineskiplimit to a large 
negative value.

(I don't know if there's a LaTeX idiom for this.... maybe someone can 
tell us?)


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