[XeTeX] Question about emulated font features.

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Wed Dec 19 22:21:47 CET 2007

On 19 Dec 2007, at 8:46 pm, Michael B. Trausch wrote:

> First off, I want to say that I have absolutely been happy so far with
> my use of XeTeX, and it has filled a hole in what I have wanted out of
> the eTeX software that I have been using up until I found this.

Glad you like it! :)

> However, there is a slight issue that I have not with XeTeX, but with
> many of the fonts that I use:  They do not support OpenType  
> features, do
> not have variants for things like old-style numbers, small caps, etc.

Yes, this is true of many older fonts, especially those that that are  
simply repackaged versions of old Type 1 fonts.

> I was wondering if these font features can be emulated (of course  
> at the
> cost of appearance) in XeTeX/XeLaTeX, by XeTex itself, or if there  
> need
> to be some sort of complex macros developed in order to do it.

There is not currently any support (or any specific plans) for this  
within XeTeX; it aims to provide direct access to whatever the font  
offers, but does not "fake" things that the font lacks.

>   Also, I
> would be interested in emulating the slanted (not italic) letter  
> style;
> is this also possible?

There is support in XeTeX 0.997 (the development code in Subversion)  
for "slant" and "extend" pseudo-features; with this version,

   \font\sxcharis = "Charis SIL:slant=0.2;extend=1.5" at 12pt

will give a slanted, extended version of Charis SIL.

If you're running 0.996 (the TeX Live 2007 release version), this was  
not yet implemented at that time.


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