[XeTeX] various problems with ArabXeTeX

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Tue Nov 25 05:33:46 CET 2008

On 25/11/2008, at 2:19 PM, Benjamin Geer wrote:

> 2008/11/25 Ross Moore <ross at ics.mq.edu.au>:
>>> Thanks, that helps.  But it's surprising to have to do that.  I
>>> thought the idea of LaTeX was to make everything look beautiful by
>>> default...
>> Well, the problem is that  "Scale=1.75"  attribute that you have set
>> when specifying your font.
>> Normally the \baselineskip is 12pt for a 10pt font and you
>> are using ~17.5pt without having adjusted the lineskip.
>> TeX cannot know, when you specify the font, how the lineskip
>> should change to accommodate what you want to use it for.
> OK, but I only set "Scale=1.75" because the default setting produces
> extremely tiny Arabic text; you'd almost need a magnifying glass to
> read it.  In contrast, the default font size for a LaTeX article in
> English is perfectly readable.  So I can only reiterate my surprise: I
> thought that LaTeX was supposed to make everything look beautiful by
> default.

It contains a lot of programmed-in wisdom, obtained by a lot
of trial and error by very many contributors.
But it allows you to override, if you really want to.

> Moreover, if LaTeX's built-in typesetting wisdom doesn't
> know what line spacing to use for a given font size, I don't see how
> I'm supposed to know any better.  Again, I thought that the purpose of
> LaTeX was to make it unnecessary to think about such things.

You chose your own font, with your own choice of attributes.
So you have overridden what would come by default with arabtex .
The default without specifying any font at all is in fact Scheherazade
with a scale factor of 2 --- see line 44 of arabxetex.sty .

You can use the commands that LaTeX provides; that is,
  \fontsize and \selectfont .
Other commands such as \normalsize, \large, \Large etc.
are ultimately defined in terms of these.

For example, you could start your document this way:



   \title{هدية إلي الرئيس مبارك وفتحي سرور  
وصفوت الشريف قبل افتتاح الدورة  
البرلمانية اليوم}
   \author{عمر الهادي}


Alternatively, you could use:

   \title ...


since in the first argument that  10pt  really means
"the size at which the font was declared".
The 2nd argument, however, sets the \baselineskip
without any internal scaling.

> Ben

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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