[XeTeX] Regular math font, fontspec & xmaths

Will Robertson wspr81 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 9 00:24:15 CEST 2006

Hi Pierre,

Welcome to this brave new world...

On 08/08/2006, at 22:03 , Pierre Weil wrote:

> I'm trying to use fontspec to change the regular math font (i.e. the
> font used to render $abcdef$). I am mostly interested in changing the
> font for the alphanumeric characters. Greek and other symbols are
> currently less important to me, and I don't mind if they stay in CMR.
> This seems to be the behavior of just putting everything in \mathit{},
> so if there's some way to make that automatic that would be excellent.

At this stage fontspec isn't set up to achieve this, for two reasons:  
now XeTeX hasn't supported unicode ranges for its maths characters  
(due to
the weird way TeX goes about things) and there aren't many (if any?!)  
maths fonts. Both of these are changing in the near future so expect  
more from me soon. I hope :)

\mathrm, \mathit, etc., technically shouldn't be used for variable  
names since
they use a text font -- the kerning isn't set up properly to visually  
between adjacent symbols. Exceptions would be, e.g., \mathit{Re} for  
Reynold's number,
and other non-dimensional quantities in fluid dynamics.

> I've also tried messing around with Will Robertson's xmaths package,
> but if I add say \DeclareSymbolFontAlphabet{\mathit}{letters} to the
> preamble of my document, the math still uses CMR. This package looks
> like it could do the trick though, and if I could get it to do this I
> would be ecstatic.

Messing around would be the right way to describe it.
My eventual goal for this package, which I hope to work on again soon,
is the fontspec analogue for maths; it will handle setting up the fonts
for maths characters, as well as handling getting things like getting
\mathcal to work.

So, no good news at present but stay tuned!

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