[XeTeX] accessing fonts from TeX tree and glyphs without Unicode slot

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu May 4 16:20:52 CEST 2006

On 4 May 2006, at 3:52 pm, Will Robertson wrote:

> On 04/05/2006, at 22:19 , Adam Twardoch wrote:
>> It would be very useful if accessing fonts through pathnames were
>> possible, like:
>> \font\caslonsc = "D:\fontslib\Adobe\ACaslonPro-Regular.otf:+smcp"
>> at 16pt
> [snip]
> I prefer the idea of Jonathan's to have an extended syntax to access
> fonts, something along the lines of
>    \XeTeXfont\caslonsc = "ACaslonPro-Regular" path "D:\fontslib\Adobe
> \" features "+smcp" at 16pt

One way or another, this is on my list of ideas to consider. Yes, I'd  
probably go with a new command that has some kind of "extended"  
syntax like this, rather than further overloading the single  
"filename" that \font expects, but I haven't settled on any thing  

Of course, this would make the .xdv format even less portable between  
machines than it currently is; the machine running the output driver  
needs to have the same fonts *in the same locations* as the machine  
which created it. But for "normal" use (where the driver is  
automatically run on-the-fly) it doesn't really matter.

> Alternatively, it doesn't seem unreasonable to distribute Gentium or
> something with XeTeX and pre-load that font in the format instead of
> the archaic CM...

The question here is whether the xetex and xelatex formats should try  
to behave exactly like standard Plain TeX and LaTeX by default, until  
the user specifically starts adding/changing things in the document.

At the moment, I'm inclined to keep the current situation, where in  
principle you can take a Plain TeX or standard LaTeX document, run it  
with XeTeX, and get the same output (provided, of course, you weren't  
relying on packages like pstricks that don't support the XeTeX  
engine). Setup for a different document typeface belongs in a  
different format (or a package that users can optionally load on top  
of a standard format).


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