[XeTeX] letter.dabase.com

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Fri Nov 2 00:46:43 CET 2007

On Thu, 1 Nov 2007 22:30:41 +0000
 "Kai Hendry" <hendry at iki.fi> wrote:
> Hi,
> I run a letter helper service http://letter.dabase.com/ which I am
> keen to utf8-ify like the Web's form inputs.
> I am interested in xetex as it seems to have better unicode support.
> However I've come across a couple of issues. The interesting i18n
> samples I have tried seem to require fonts that aren't on my system.
> Isn't there some generic (free) font like DejavuSans that it could
> just fall back on?

The idea of "just falling back" on a font doesn't really fit with TeX's level of typographic control; you get the font your document requests, no substitutes, no fallbacks. But you can certainly set up your format to use DejaVu, or you might like to try something like Gentium or Charis SIL (see http://scripts.sil.org/).

> Secondly my letter.tex template has taken some convincing to get
> compiled by xetex. Or rather xelatex.
> xetex seems to ignore that %&program=xelatex in the header.

Indeed; that's just a comment, as far as (xe)tex is concerned. TeXShop (on Mac OS X) used that to determine which TeX engine to run, but that won't help you. You'll want to explicitly call xelatex in your command line.

> It also seems to ignore unicode I think(<ä> 228, Hex 00e4, Octal 344).
> Despite %&encoding=UTF-8 Unicode and \XeTeXinputencoding{utf8} thrown
> in for good measure. Perhaps I am missing a font?

If you aren't explicitly selecting a font, you're getting the default Computer Modern, which doesn't support Unicode accented characters. Use the fontspec package and specify a Unicode font; e.g.,

  \setmainfont{Charis SIL} % or whatever...


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