[XeTeX] First four characters dropped?

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Wed Sep 27 11:07:25 CEST 2006

On 27 Sep 2006, at 4:30 am, Nick Soban wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm new to XeTeX and LaTeX in general and so far it's been pretty
> smooth sailing. I installed XeTeX 0.95 using the i-Installer and have
> only one real problem. When I typeset a document using the default cmr
> font the first four characters on the page will be dropped after the
> text gets beyond a certain length (approximately over 1200
> characters). If I change
> the font to one of the built in OS X fonts there's absolutely no
> problem. I'd really like to get the default to work, if for no other
> reason than I can't run any documents using XeTeX without changing the
> default font. Has anyone else encountered this problem or have a work
> around?

This is an error in the xdv2pdf driver. (I'm amazed it hasn't been  
reported before; the bug has been there a long time!)

The problem shows up if an output page has a long run of text (> 1024  
characters, not counting spaces -- so the report was pretty accurate)  
in a single TFM-based font (such as Computer Modern) with no font  
changes (or a few other things such as \special commands) that break  
up the stream. So documents that include frequent font changes  
(headings, math, etc) are unlikely to run into it, but simple  
narrative text can easily do so.

This is fixed the xdv2pdf source code in Subversion, so the next  
XeTeX release will correct this bug.

A couple of possible workarounds for the current release: use the  
xdvipdfmx driver instead (see list archives for details) when using  
TFM fonts; or insert \special{} into the text at intervals (e.g.,  
every few hundred characters). Or, of course, switch to a Mac OS X font.

My apologies, and thanks to Nick for reporting it.


More information about the XeTeX mailing list