[XeTeX] xetex vs. pages

Will Robertson will at guerilla.net.au
Wed Nov 16 23:43:48 CET 2005

On 17/11/2005, at 2am, Scott Murman wrote:

> - xetex source files can easily be ported to other platforms by  
> disabling the xetex-specific commands. currently, pages must port  
> through a 3rd-party app, such as MS Word, however may be able to  
> retain the unicode fonts (never tried myself).  pages->rtf->latex  
> is possible, but frightening.

Indeed, you can write a document to compile in both TeX and XeTeX  
quite easily. If you write in a structured manner in XeTeX, it would  
be, in principle. much easier to go from XeTeX to Pages than back again.

> - pages is gui-driven, and allows easy placement of floats, etc.,  
> but still lacks some basic functionality such as tracking  
> references, indexes, etc.   xetex inherits a long legacy of latex  
> code, but will never be a mature page layout tool.

Well...LaTeX (don't know about ConTeXt) float placement is very  
seamless, once you've sorted out the caveats. You can insert images  
into paragraphs (wee wrapfig or picinpar), but it's not quite as easy  
as dragging the image where you want in a GUI.

> - pages is built directly into the os x framework, so moving data  
> between email, spreadsheet, report will be seamless.  xetex for the  
> most part is stand-alone.

You can quite easily copy/paste snippets of the PDF in TeXShop, et  
al. Anything too pages specific won't transfer that easily between  
documents, with the probably exception of other iLife app(s).

It would be interesting (but probably not very useful) to investigate  
the compatibility possibilities between the two apps, since  
fundamentally they both use some sort of plain text syntax.

But it should be the type of document that you are creating that  
dictates the app you're using. A few pages with some images and no  
maths? Pages might be fine. Multilingual, maths, long document with  
index/ToC, etc., then XeTeX + LaTeX or ConTeXt would be a better choice.


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