[XeTeX] Tibetan fonts and XeTex

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Feb 24 10:43:19 CET 2005

On 24 Feb 2005, at 8:34 am, Daniel Muller wrote:

> Hi all,
> I'm trying to produce PDF file of Tibetan text with XeTex 0.8.
> There is a Tibetan Language Kit made by XenoType with a AAT font but 
> the stacked characters are not rendered correctly in XeTex's PDF file.
> I tried OpenType fonts: with Tibetan Machine Uni (OpenType) the 
> results are similar than XenotType (and the r on top like ref in 
> Sanskrit is rendered as normal ra). With "TCRC Youtso Unicode" 
> (OpenType) the stacked characters are rendered correctly but they are 
> squeezed.
> Any idea how to use Tibetan fonts and XeTex?

I wouldn't expect OpenType to work fully, as there is no specific 
Tibetan "shaping" support in the ICU layout library that XeTeX uses for 
OpenType layout. You may get some behavior as a result of default 
features such as ligatures and mark positioning, which can be applied 
to all the text, but context-dependent features won't be applied 
correctly. (That would be why the "ra" doesn't behave properly, for 

An AAT font *ought* to work, however, as the AAT architecture doesn't 
require any script-specific knowledge in the application; the behavior 
is all defined by the font tables. So I would have expected XenoType's 
AAT font to work, but apparently that's not the case. I don't have a 
copy of this font myself, however, so it's difficult to investigate 
further--sorry! I'll see if I can find out anything more.


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