[XeTeX] text render problems - how to 'debug' what xelatex does

Michiel Kamermans pomax at nihongoresources.com
Fri Dec 11 11:35:59 CET 2009

Hi all,

I'm trying to vertically typeset some of the various Japanese typefaces, 
and have run into a curious problem with one of my fonts. For 
simplification purposes, a stripped version of the source I'm using:

色は匂へど \\

If I run this with any font that supports vertical CJK (such as Hiragino 
Mincho Pro W6 or MS PMincho) this works. For actual use in real content 
this would then be stuck in a rotated box with a varwidth environment in 
it and all is peachy, except when I use a particular seal script font, 
in which case the text is indeed in vertical mode, but the result is the 
attached pdf file.

When I open this pdf file in Foxit, the text looks fine. Left aligned as 
text should be. If I open it in Acrobat, the text may or may not be left 
aligned. With that I mean that the text itself is not in the right 
place, but shifted right, but when you try to text-select it, the 
highlight boxes *are* in the right place.

Is there a way to examine what xelatex and xdvipdfmx are doing to 
generate a file that is apparently broken enough to make it malrenders 
text inconsistently across different pdf viewers?

Also, while technically the font license doesn't allow redistribution, 
this is an important enough problem for me that I don't care about 
violating that part of the license. If someone thinks they can find out 
what's going wrong with the font available to them for the duration of 
the problem solving process, please let me know and I'll mail a copy of 
the font.

- Mike "Pomax" Kamermans
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