[XeTeX] XeTeX vertical text layout support (for Linux & win32 users)

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sat Jun 17 19:01:29 CEST 2006

On 17 Jun 2006, at 4:12 pm, Jjgod Jiang wrote:

> Hi all,
> Recently I've been trying to add vertical text layout support to  
> XeTeX (and
> xdvipdfmx) Linux & win32 versions. ....

That's exciting.... it's been on my list of things to do, but I  
haven't had time to work on it, so if you get it done first, I'll be  
very happy. :)

I've looked over your description briefly, and it's a promising  
start, but as far as I understand it, there will be more work needed  
before it's ready to use, and provides equivalent functionality to  
the "vertical" attribute used with ATSUI fonts on OS X (which would  
be my goal).

It seems to me that your suggested changes so far will allow the  
"vertical" attribute to be specified for OT fonts, and pass this to  
xdvipdfmx via the font_def flags; but in addition, the actual layout  
process in xetex needs to be aware of the vertical flag, and use the  
vertical rather than horizontal glyph metrics.

(You might get acceptable results with typical "square" CJK glyphs,  
but for the general case, I think the layout engine needs to be  
modified to recognize the vertical option.)

In addition, I'm guessing that xdvipdfmx will have problems if you  
use the same font in both vertical and horizontal modes, because  
you're storing the layout direction in the fontmap (in the form of  
the encoding name), but the fontmap entries are keyed just on the  
font name -- so the same entry will be used regardless of the writing  

If I have a little time, I'll experiment with some of this, and see  
how it fits together in practice. Thanks for getting it started!


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