[XeTeX] various problems with ArabXeTeX

Benjamin Geer benjamin.geer at gmail.com
Tue Nov 25 13:23:32 CET 2008

2008/11/25 Ross Moore <ross at ics.mq.edu.au>:
> The default without specifying any font at all is in fact Scheherazade
> with a scale factor of 2 --- see line 44 of arabxetex.sty .

OK, but even if I let ArabXeTeX use its default font and scale factor,
the line spacing is still uneven.  (See the attached files,
arabxetex-test.tex and arabxetex-test.pdf; it's especially easy to see
the unevenness in the last few lines of the document.)  Thank you for
showing me different ways of setting font size and line spacing, but
since I'm not a professional typesetter, I have no idea what values to
use.  Professional typesetters know how to calculate line spacing in
relation to font size in order to make the result look good, and LaTeX
knows, too, when I use it to write in English.

It's polyglossia that produces tiny, unreadable text if I don't
specify a font size (see the attached files,
polyglossia-tiny-text-test.tex and polyglossia-tiny-text-test.pdf).
Also, polyglossia crashes if I don't specify a font (see

ben at lenovo-laptop:~/work/arabic-work/textest$ xelatex
This is XeTeXk, Version 3.141592-2.2-0.996-patch2 (Web2C 7.5.6)
 %&-line parsing enabled.
entering extended mode
LaTeX2e <2005/12/01>
Babel <v3.8h> and hyphenation patterns for english, usenglishmax, dumylang, noh
yphenation, arabic, farsi, loaded.
Document Class: article 2005/09/16 v1.4f Standard LaTeX document class
fontspec.cfg loaded.
(./polyglossia-crash-test.aux)kpathsea: Running mktextfm
/usr/share/texmf/web2c/mktexnam: Could not map source abbreviation 6 for 600.
/usr/share/texmf/web2c/mktexnam: Need to update
mktextfm: Running mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1;
nonstopmode; input
This is METAFONT, Version 2.71828 (Web2C 7.5.6)

kpathsea: Running mktexmf
! I can't find file `'.
<*> \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input

Please type another input file name
! Emergency stop.
<*> \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode; input

Transcript written on mfput.log.
grep: .log: No such file or directory
mktextfm: `mf-nowin -progname=mf \mode:=ljfour; mag:=1; nonstopmode;
input ' failed to make .tfm.
kpathsea: Appending font creation commands to missfont.log.

! Font \zf at basefont="" not loadable: Metric (TFM) file or installed font not fo
<to be read again>
                   \zf at family@fontdeflmr
l.21 \begin{document}

? X
No pages of output.
Transcript written on polyglossia-crash-test.log.

It seems to me that default values should produce readable text and
even line spacing.

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