[XeTeX] new to xetex: need help w/ typesetting Syriac

Gareth Hughes garzohugo at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 13:22:20 CEST 2009

Sargon Hasso wrote:
> Although I am not new to LaTeX, published my graduate thesis in LaTeX,
> but  I just recently stumbled on unicode support via xetex. I downloaded
> MikTeX  v. 2.7 (w/ xetex support for windows). So, first things first: I
> tried to build the sample Arabic tex file (the closest to Syriac) that
> came in the xetex sample documents but failed. Oh, I remember those days
> when I had to chase down problems in LaTeX. I also tried to build a
> sample file that uses standard ttf/otf directly  and it worked fine.
> However, the syriac and arabic text don't seem to be rendered correctly,
> i.e. contextual shaping does not seem to be working. I know I am missing
> something, but I don't know what. I am attaching a sample pdf so you can
> see it. Perhaps, someone can show me a complete, albeit, simple tex file
> that has one syriac line and one arabic line that demonstrates
> typesetting syriac in xetex.
> Regards,
> Sargon

Shlama Sargon!

I've attached a short XeLaTeX (that's LaTeX with XeTeX) input file with
its PDF output. I've been using XeLaTeX regularly for writing Syriac for
work. The Polyglossia package is handy for multilingual texts as it
provides some neat commands for switching fonts and directionality all
in one. Fontspec is the package that XeLaTeX uses for font commands.
Note, it's important to specify 'Script=Syriac', and so forth, for
cursive scripts so that the correct OpenType features for joining and
shaping are used. If you don't have the fonts I'm using, change the
definitions in the input file to fonts on your system.

Get in touch if there's anything that is unclear.


Gareth Hughes

Department of Eastern Christianity
Oriental Institute
Pusey Lane

+44 (0)1865 610227
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: syrar.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 45741 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://tug.org/pipermail/xetex/attachments/20090427/b3f98954/attachment-0001.pdf 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: syrar.tex
Type: text/x-tex
Size: 846 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://tug.org/pipermail/xetex/attachments/20090427/b3f98954/attachment-0001.bin 

More information about the XeTeX mailing list