[XeTeX] Odd baselineskip behaviour

Malcolm Ross Malcolm.Ross at anu.edu.au
Sat Sep 18 16:06:10 CEST 2004

I use XeTeX to type linguistics materials, as it is far easier to use a 
Unicode font for input than the usual LaTeX macros (including TIPA), 
since the complexity of the latter easily leads to mistakes.

For this purpose I need an AAT serif font which includes the various 
Latin blocks, IPA Extensions and Combining Diacritical Marks, and has 
regular, italic, bold and bold italic variants. To the best of my 
knowledge no such font is available, and so I have devised my own using 
FontForge and Apple Font Tools. The resulting font works perfectly in 

It also works in XeTeX, except that when a line contains bold or italic 
characters, the baselineskip (is that the right term? the vertical 
distance between printed lines) is greater than with regular 
characters. I have struggled in vain to identify the source of this 
problem. I cannot find a relevant parameter in the .sfd files (the 
files one edits in FontForge), nor can I find a way to neutralise the 
problem using a TeX or LaTeX command (I use XeLaTeX, as I am not fluent 
in plain TeX).

Is it possible that the problem lies with XeTeX? I doubt it, as I have 
tried using Frutiger Linotype (a sans serif font which otherwise 
satisfies my criteria), and the baselineskip problem does not arise 

Any suggestions as to what else I might try would be gratefully 
received. I hope I am just missing the obvious.

Malcolm Ross


Malcolm D. Ross
Department of Linguistics
Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies
Building No. 9
The Australian National University

E-mail: Malcolm.Ross at anu.edu.au

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