[XeTeX] RTL Arabic footnotes + line numbers for critical edition

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Jun 24 01:48:15 CEST 2005

On 23 Jun 2005, at 10:55 am, Bernd Carl wrote:

> Okay, this is my result I got so far.
> I did get Musa Furbers files working in some way, only the babel  
> file was missing. Whatever, this might be working for me. Then I  
> tried to just use the ledmac package but it won't do. Maybe I don't  
> understand Xetex but inside Arabic text the footnote command  
> corrupts the text.
> In the two files I provided, Arabic I used for collation moved to  
> the left (it should be on the far right) and the footnotes only  
> show latin script, no Arabic.
> All this makes me wonder if Latex is really a good choice for  
> modern typewriting that includes Unicode. It's only applying  
> workarounds that don't work.

Looking in your file, I don't see anything that would set up the  
overall paragraph direction to be right-to-left. This needs to be  
done (with \beginR at the beginning of the paragraph, inserted via  
\everypar or another mechanism), otherwise paragraph layout will not  
work properly for Arabic.

For simple cases, the line

     \everypar={\setbox0=\lastbox \beginR \box0 }

before a series of paragraphs that are right-to-left may do the job.  
But I don't know if this will be sufficient in conjunction with other  
packages such as ledmac.

The direction commands \beginL, \beginR, \endL, \endR are all part of  
e-TeX, not unique to XeTeX; they are described in the e-TeX  
documentation. (See http://www.ap.stmarys.ca/teTeX/etex/base/ 
etex_ref.html, for example.) You'll need to have a grasp of how these  
are used in order to set up any complex bidi typesetting successfully.


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