[XeTeX] Strange hyphenation

Musa Furber musaf at runbox.com
Sun Jul 10 20:07:57 CEST 2005

On Jul 10, 2005, at 6:45 PM, Jonathan Kew wrote:

> On 10 Jul 2005, at 2:23 pm, Musa Furber wrote:
>> Something I noticed after updating to the current version of XeTeX is 
>> that the word Allāh (transliterated, just as it appears in this 
>> email) is sometimes hyphenated after Al-. I can suppress this using 
>> by putting the word within a \makebox{...}.
>> Isn't the default that hyphenation is suppressed for words such as 
>> this?
> Think about what would cause it to be suppressed.... If you do 
> something like "All\={a}h" in plain TeX or LaTeX, then the accent 
> command means that the word is not just a plain sequence of 
> characters, and so it becomes ineligible for hyphenation. And if you 
> enter it as "Allāh", and use LaTeX macros such as 
> \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} to interpret this, then the input bytes 
> will be getting translated into internal macros of some kind, probably 
> rendering in the end via an \accent command or similar. So again, the 
> word is not a simple character sequence. And TeX doesn't hyphenate 
> such "complex" words.
> But if you're using Xe(La)TeX with Unicode text and a 
> Unicode-compliant font, then "Allāh" is a simple sequence of five 
> characters, with no internal TeX commands or anything, and so is 
> eligible for hyphenation according to the patterns currently in force.
> If this is not appropriate, you could tag the word as being in a 
> different \language, or you could add it to the \hyphenation 
> exceptions, or (as you've observed) you could box it so that it isn't 
> part of the top-level text in the paragraph.

I see. I thought that even in XeTeX that the Unicode characters would 
disable the hyphenation. I will have to look into the \hyphenation 
exceptions option and begin making a list. Throwing \makebox{...} all 
over the place doesn't look nice.


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