[XeTeX] Looking for a better font selection method

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri May 19 10:49:29 CEST 2006

On 19 May 2006, at 8:54 am, Will Robertson wrote:

> Hi,
> Sounds like Doulos SIL needs to expand its character repertoire by a
> hundred thousand characters or so :)
> On 19/05/2006, at 17:00 , Pektiong Tân wrote:
> Not at present. Theoretically, a whole lotta active characters could
> do it, but that's impractical and very ugly.

Right; at present, any piece of text to be typeset has exactly one  
font -- whatever font your document/macros/etc specified --  
associated with it.

Some kind of "multiple current fonts" scheme, associated with  
different scripts, is a request that comes up from time to time, and  
could make things much simpler. It's not as straightforward as it  
sounds, though, because not all characters in Unicode are  
unambiguously identified with a single script; punctuation, in  
particular, is generally shared across scripts. Getting it "right" in  
all the edge cases is tricky.

> The only real solution at the moment is to logically tag all of your
> text, as you've done. There's a possibility in the future that
> virtual fonts could handle what you want (rather than a fallback-
> font, it would be more a combination-of-fonts), but I don't
> understand the full ramifications of such a scheme.

Nor do I, at this point. It's something I'd like to explore, but I'm  
not at all clear what the interface in TeX would look like, nor  
exactly how best to implement it internally.


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