# Solved: [XeTeX] beginners trouble

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
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
> bla.map-files 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.

JK

```