[XeTeX] Spurious text (font name) in PDF output.

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Thu May 4 00:29:49 CEST 2006

Le 3 mai 06 à 16:09, Will Robertson a écrit :

> This is the root of the problem from your original example. It's a  
> pity that babel and fontspec don't interact better. Perhaps this is  
> impossible, though.

I'm very pessimistic about the possibility of babel and XeTeX sharing  
the same ecosystem. babel dates really IMHO from the days where only  
a handful of METAFONT fonts were available, all in custom 7-bit or at  
best 8-bit encodings, and people had to make the best of them to  
typeset in several languages.

I'm using babel personally to access several hyphenation patterns  
within the same document (for example to hyphenate properly English  
and German publication titles within a document written in French),  
and to adjust \sectionname etc. properly. (But I generally don't like  
babel's insistance on taking care of other language-specific  
formatting issues, based on assumed language-specific standards ---  
such as the special spacing between list items, or the typesetting of  
last names in small caps, in French --- which not everybody's agree  

Using babel for such languages in XeTeX isn't a problem, because  
these all rely on the Latin alphabet. For other languages, however,  
such as as Greek, Cyrillic or Hebrew, babel assumes specific fonts  
are used, with custom encodings (I think). And some babel commands  
seem to be "hardwired" for these fonts only. Which makes the use of  
other fonts thanks to XeTeX a hazardous process.

I tend to think that only a complete rewrite of babel to rely on  
Unicode would solve the issue (together with a separation of the  
different functionalities babel provides: hyphenation, translation of  
\sectionname etc., language-specific formatting, and so forth).  
Whether this will indeed happen I've no idea.

Bruno Voisin

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