[XeTeX] Feedback on W32 Port of XeTeX v0.994

Toralf Senger Senger at mpimp-golm.mpg.de
Tue Jun 13 11:21:52 CEST 2006

Hi all,

maybe you (as Mac or Linux Users) dont't care but you have one very happy user of the windows port. There are unfortunately two big issues, which could stop me from using XeTex for the online Version of my PhD-Thesis (PDF filesize is 10 times smaller with XeTeX compared to PDFTeX due to the heavy font usage in my document): Colors and PDF-picture inclusion do not work. As soon as I include \usepackage[xetex]{color} I get thousands of errors álá 'Warning*** -->x:textcolor=000000<--- unparsed macros afters specials ignored' (Or something like this)-even in a document where the only text is 'test' I get about 10 error (identical) messages. Second thing: when I want to include a PDF with \inludegraphics{test.pdf} or \XeTeXpicfile{test.pdf} I get the error 'Could not inlude picture or PDF file' and when i press >h< I get 'picture format not supported'. As I do not know how pictures are inluded in the Win32-port of XeTeX, I do not know were to start looking: Installing Quicktime did not help--which did not surprise me, because my understanding was, that the Win32 port is made from the Linux port, which in turn employs ImageMagick to include pictures...anyway, it dos not work, no matter what I try. Third thing: XeTeX did not recognise the Optical Versions of the biggest font I have access to: The Premier Pro version of Garamond. It only included the Caption version (for all pt sizes); when I deleted this file, it included the Display version etc. fc-match gave me totaly unreproducable results, fc-list did at least list all 32 members of this family. Therefore, I wrote a Style file which does \DeclareFontShape similar to fontspec, the only difference is that I give exactly the filename for each Optical variant and the range where it should by used, for example:
        \DeclareFontShape{\zf at enc}{\zf at family}{sb}{si}{
        <-8.9>\Agpp@@scale "GaramondPremrPro-SmbdItCapt\zf at suffix+smcp,\zf at ff"
        <8-14.9>\Agpp@@scale  "GaramondPremrPro-SmbdIt\zf at suffix+smcp,\zf at ff"
        <14-22.9>\Agpp@@scale  "GaramondPremrPro-SmbdItSubh\zf at suffix+smcp,\zf at ff"
        <23->\Agpp@@scale  "GaramondPremrPro-SmbdItDisp\zf at suffix+smcp,\zf at ff"}{}%

That works, but I have to write a style file for each font..which is very inconvinient once you know that fontspec and XeTeX should do it normaly automatically (except the above example, because it does not seem to know other weights [Semibold, Medium ,Light] than Regular and Bold). Anyway..this is so much better than what I did before: Generating a different TFM file for each Opentype feature I what to use (sups, sinf..). That resulted in hugely bloated PDF files, because the same font is over and over again embedded in the PDF....
Last issue I noticed: Independant of how I inlcude the font (with fontspec, \font= or with my stylefile), the pnum feature (Proportional Figures) gave a strange result: when I type several times the nunber 'one', like 11111111, they end up in visualy quite disturbung groups of two digits, like 11 11 11 11..not separeted by much, but still quite visible. Other Opentype aware applications like Adobe Indesign or Illustrator dont to that and neither does PDFTex do that..so is this a bug or a feature (the result of the script that is behind pnum)?

So, I hope this feedback could help to improve the Windows port, because I would very much like to see XeTeX to become THE standard. For with PDFTex comparable typesetting quality, also compatibility with the microtype package would be nice--in my view, font expansion and character protrusion are the biggest leap forward with respect to quality since a long time -- but I am aware of the fact that it would be quite labourious to implement that into XeTeX.

Anyway, salute to everyone whou helped to develop this nice package..

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