Solved: [XeTeX] beginners trouble

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at
Sat Nov 12 16:49:10 CET 2005

On 12 Nov 2005, at 9:03 am, Martin Henning wrote:
> I understand fontspec - why do i need xunicode?

xunicode modifies a lot of LaTeX commands for accessing  
"special" (non-ASCII) characters, accents, etc., so that they will  
produce the proper Unicode character codes to access Unicode- 
compliant fonts, instead of characters from the old custom-encoded  
TeX fonts.

If your input text is pure Unicode, you don't need this; but if you  
have input text using LaTeX conventions like \'{a}, \ss, etc. for non- 
ASCII letters, then xunicode will make this work with Unicode fonts.

> The mapping-thingy is also a little weird for me... i found some  
> on my system and they seem to contain charcater  
> mappings for different languages on th same keyboard - right? what  
> does 'tex-text' tell me then?

Again, backward compatibility with existing TeX/LaTeX conventions.  
The "tex-text" font mapping (this is a different thing from keyboard  
mappings) tells XeTeX that when using this font, you want to replace  
the TeX-style sequence `` with the Unicode character “, and '' with  
”, and --- with —, and so on. Again, if your input uses only the  
Unicode characters for quotes and dashes, not the conventional TeX  
sequences, you don't really need this.


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