[XeTeX] Auto-fonts

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Mon May 10 18:19:49 CEST 2004

On 10 May 2004, at 4:54 pm, Adam Lindsay wrote:

> Hi all.
> I really was blown away by my first look at XeTeX. Other activities 
> have
> gotten in the way of my posting to the list earlier, though.
> Looking through the MacTeX archives, I found this:
>> XeTeX was intended to make it simple to use the advanced typography
>> features of OS X, with no special setup required. I doubt it does
>> ...[snip]...
>> If you want to simply use AAT fonts as provided, XeTeX tries to make 
>> it
>> easy.
> That was an interesting statement. Jonathan, have you considered 
> enabling
> automatic font (fallback) selection, a la 
> "ATSUSetTransientFontMatching"
> and related calls? Is that leaving too much to typographic chance?

Well..... yes, it has crossed my mind. But I'm not keen on "typographic 
chance"; I like to know what I'm getting. If the font I've asked for 
doesn't have the character I'm trying to print, a square box that 
sticks out like a sore thumb makes it fairly obvious that I need to fix 
things. Silent substitution of another font may escape my notice until 
the printer has run off a few thousand (or more) copies that don't look 
quite right.

Substitution with a warning message would be safer, but more work to 
implement (for silent substitution, I could simply use 
ATSUSetTransientFontMatching). Better still would be substitution with 
a warning message, plus the ability to specify an ordered list of 
fallback fonts to try.

I'll bear it in mind; meanwhile, comments from others would be welcome.


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