doc suggestion, was: [XeTeX] beginners trouble

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at
Sun Nov 13 23:13:46 CET 2005

On 13 Nov 2005, at 3:55 pm, Will Robertson wrote:

> On 13/11/2005, at 10pm, Peter Dyballa wrote:
>> This is not a fontspec topic, I'm just missing some mentioning of  
>> this. How do you prevent XeTeX from creating an fl ligature here:  
>> beruflich (professionally)? In German it's just 'beruf"|lich.'
> Unless things have changed since I wrote the fontspec  
> documentation, this is indeed something that is different from TeX;  
> the thing you undoubtedly tried, "beruf{}lich" doesn't work because  
> of the way the font processor works in XeTeX.

This would also be risky in TeX; rather than {}, Knuth recommends  
something like \kern0pt, I think. (Travelling at the moment, don't  
have the book handy.) An empty group inhibits ligatures initially,  
but they could get reconstituted after TeX attempts hyphenation.

> So, as mentioned in the fontspec docs :) (I admit, it's a tiny  
> comment), you need to put in an empty hbox or something; see if  
> this works:
>   \mbox{beruf\null lich}
> I'm not sure if the surrounding mbox is necessary...usually you'd  
> be okay without it, but I don't know what goes on with hyphenation.

The \mbox shouldn't be necessary.

I'm not sure what "| means in the German package (is this a Babel  
option?), but it very likely expands to something like \kern0pt, in  
which case it should also work in XeTeX. But if it's part of a  
package that sets up lots of other font-related stuff, that might be  
a problem..... someone more knowledgeable about LaTeX matters would  
need to clarify this.


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