[XeTeX] Compiling/Installing XeTeX

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Aug 4 18:33:05 CEST 2006

On 4 Aug 2006, at 5:15 pm, Joshua Grauman wrote:

> Thanks, that did the trick. Only problem left is that some of the  
> lines
> start with a black square and are not flush right (but farther  
> right into
> the margin). Any ideas what can be causing this?

Those look like "overfull boxes" -- you'll see messages about them  
going by while TeX runs, or in the .log file afterwards. This means  
that given the combination of font size, line length, lengths of  
words, hyphenation rules (none for Hebrew, presumably), it is  
impossible to break the paragraph into lines that can all be  
justified to the given width without stretching or shrinking the word  
spaces too much. So TeX puts those black slugs next to the bad ones  
to make sure you don't overlook them.

There are a variety of ways to fix this, depending on your  
requirements; for example:

- longer lines and/or smaller type will make it easier to find  
satisfactory line breaks

- increasing \tolerance will make TeX less strict about word spacing

- typesetting ragged-left by making \leftskip stretchable (e.g.,  
\leftskip = 0pt plus 0.2\hsize)

- altering \fontdimen parameters can make the word spacing in a given  
font more flexible

Chapter 6 in The TeXbook introduces some of this stuff; chapter 14  
goes into more depth.


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