[XeTeX] xetex vs. pages

Robert Voogdgeert rvoogdgeert at kabelfoon.nl
Fri Nov 18 14:54:54 CET 2005

> On 17/11/2005, at 10am, Herbert Schulz wrote:
> > One more thing ---
> >
> > XeTeX (and TeX in general) will break your paragraphs into  
> > beautiful lines while Pages will always look much uglier. The only  
> > piece of software that seems to come even close to TeX's ability to  
> > make beautiful typography is InDesign which, I believe, has lifted  
> > at least some of TeX's algorithms.
> Actually, InDesign arguably is *more* capable than TeX, since it  
> features optical kerning (that is, on-the-fly kerning between any  
> arbitrary characters). This would be something worth investigating  
> for XeTeX if anyone is looking for a research project :)
> Will
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Actually, ID is not only more capable than TeX with regard to optical
kerning (which is with good OTF less preferable than metrics kerning by
the way) it also has optical margin alignment on both the left and right
margin. Moreover it the margin alignment is aware of the writing
direction of the language, l2r or r2l. That is, the Middle Eastern
Version is.

As far as typography is concerned I think nothing beats InDesign. The
advantages of (Xe)TeX are specifically related to automating tasks such
as bibliographies, indices etc. Although with the right plugins and
extensions ID can also do this well.

The biggest disadvantage of ID is that it has only very limited Unicode
support. The standard version doesn't even support the unicodeblocks
with Arabic and Hebrew.

On the other hand the graphic options that come with using
Photoshop/Illustrator with ID are as one might expect far more advanced
than with TeX.

Ofcourse there is also the Middle Eastern version of QuarkXpress, but
this version is only available for Windows. So I don't have any
experience with it.


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