[XeTeX] Devanagari ligature issue

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Thu Dec 6 04:29:37 CET 2007

On 5 Dec 2007, at 9:14 pm, Guy wrote:

> Greetings all,
> I've just begun to use XeTeX on linux (ubuntu, via TeXLive) and
> haven't been able to get Devanagari to appear correctly.  The output
> essentially undoes the ligatures formed by my input method editor
> (scim / m17n), leaving a mess of viraama-s and mis-sequenced short
> 'i'-s.

Well, strictly speaking they're not "ligatures formed by the input  
method editor". The IME just generates the Unicode character  
sequences; the ligatures (and reordered short-i, etc) are done by the  
rendering engine in conjunction with the OpenType tables in the font.

> (I've tried several unicode fonts which work well with other
> unicode-specific programs (Sanskrit 2003, Uttara, Santipur OT), as
> well as different unicode-capable editors, but all yield the same
> problem.  Is there anything specific to naagari typesetting which
> needs to be specified in the preamble?  Any help would be much
> appreciated.

If you're using xelatex, with the fontspec package to specify fonts,  
you need the [Script=Devanagari] option, e.g,

   \setmainfont[Script=Devanagari]{Sanskrit 2003}

(or when using \newfontfamily or other fontspec commands).

If you're using "plain" xetex, give the "script=deva" option in the  
\font declaration:

   \font\dev="Sanskrit 2003:script=deva" at 12pt
   \dev नमस्ते!

In either case, this is needed to select the Devanagari shaping  
engine for use with this font; without it, the appropriate OpenType  
features won't be applied.


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