[XeTeX] Polyglossia does not exist for Kannada - XeLaTex

Sreenivasa Guttal sreenivasa.guttal at gmail.com
Thu Apr 23 12:24:56 CEST 2009

Thanks Jonathan and others for all useful comments.

It is indeed a font issue. If I enable GIST-KNOTHema font (not elegant
though!), hyphen character is displayed. But, even this has issues with
other characters like avargraha, "" etc.

I could not get your point about U + 2010. How do I verify what is supported
by font?
Any reference to know how to build my own font, say by integrating fonts

I also tried BARAHA unicode fonts, but it does not seem to work at all. I
get junk characters.


On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM, Jonathan Kew <jfkthame at googlemail.com>wrote:

> On 18 Apr 2009, at 07:17, Sreenivasa Guttal wrote:
> > On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 12:08 AM, Jonathan Kew <jfkthame at googlemail.com
> > > wrote:
> >
> > On 17 Apr 2009, at 18:49, Sreenivasa Guttal wrote:
> >
> > > If I make defaultlangauge is non-english(kannada or sanskrit) and
> > > \setmainfont, the other issues go away.
> > > However, I the hyphen character is still not seen. That is the main
> > > isssue now.
> >
> > Have you checked whether it is actually present in the font you're
> > using? Have you looked for error/warning messages in the log?
> >
> >
> > YES. The given font does not seem to support hyphen character.
> > That is why I tried to redefine defaulthyphenchar, by including it
> > in english language. (with begin and end english). Somehow, this is
> > not working.
> Of course not. As I wrote before (and as The TeXbook says),
> \defaulthyphenchar is an integer parameter of TeX. You can't magically
> assign some arbitrary token list to this.
> If the font has some other character that you want to use for
> hyphenation, you can set its \hyphenchar to the (ASCII or Unicode)
> value, and this will be used when TeX hyphenates. (BTW, no need to
> mess with \defaulthyphenchar for this, just use the HyphenChar feature
> of fontspec when you define the font.)
> >
> > In summary, How do I get this hyphen character displayed when I
> > given font does not support it? This should solve my main problem.
> If the font has a suitable character somewhere (e.g., U+2010), use the
> HyphenChar feature to specify it.
> If the font has no suitable character at all, then you can't get
> automatic hyphenation to work with this font, as TeX does not have the
> ability to insert arbitrary commands such as font changes as part of
> automatic hyphenation. You could use explicit \discretionary commands
> that do a font switch, but auto-hyphenation based on patterns won't do
> that.
> >
> > > Another observation. I also see that other special charactrers like
> > > `avagraha', `virama'(danda) are not displayed properly.
> >
> > Again, have you checked that the font you're using supports the
> > characters involved?
> >
> > If I use these character by swithcing to a different language which
> > has support for these fonts, it does work.
> > Neverthless, I do not know why such basic characters are not
> > supported by these fonts.
> That's a question for the font developers. I guess they didn't think
> people would need them in Kannada. If they're wrong, you'll have to
> convince them to improve their fonts (or fix them yourself), or choose
> different fonts that properly support the character set you need.
> I took a quick look at the Mallige and Kedage fonts available through
> Sourceforge; is that what you're using? They seem to have a number of
> problems: the glyph outlines in Mallige are extremely poorly drawn,
> and both fonts show some deviations from Unicode compliance. It looks
> like they encode a "danda" as U+003E ">", for example!
> JK
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