[XeTeX] Traditional Arabic font and ArabXeTeX

Khaled Hosny khaledhosny at eglug.org
Mon Jun 8 20:09:46 CEST 2009

On Mon, Jun 08, 2009 at 05:16:57PM +0200, François Charette wrote:
> > More generally, I could probably use Scheherazade, were it not for the
> > "sub-optimal" FDF2 glyph, and the fact that this is a book on da'awat
> > by Ghazali, where the name of God appears all the time. I had started
> > trying a macro to insert Traditional Arabic just for FDF2, within text
> > in Scheherazade, and I would much appreciate your advice on this kind
> > of usage, or any hint.

I'm working on an fork of Scheherazade that supplement it with many
legature, including لله ligature among others, it is not done yet but if
you want to try it, the font and (FontForge) source are here:

> To replace the glyph for ALLAH in Scheherazade with the one from
> Traditional Arabic, you can try something like this:
> \newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic]{Scheherazade}
> \newfontfamily\tradarabic[Script=Arabic,Scale=1]{Traditional Arabic}
> \catcode `ﷲ = \active
> \def ﷲ{{\char"627\relax\raisebox{-.15ex}{\tradarabic\char"FDF2\relax}}}
> \begin{document}
> \huge
> \textarab{%
> وَسُبْحَانَ ﷲ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلهِ وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا ﷲ وَﷲ أَكْبَرُ.
> }
> But this is probably not a very good idea ...

I don't think entering FDF2 (or any other Arabic presentation form)
directly in the text is a good idea, presentation forms are obsolete
their use in the text is discouraged by Unicode.

> BTW, you should refrain from placing vowels within the word Allah, as it
> prevents the ligature U+FDF2. I usually directly input U+FDF2 (with a
> keyboard shortcut) when writing the name of God in Arabic. Note also
> that U+FDF2 followed by a fatha or damma does not look nice with
> Traditional Arabic, as it overlaps with the "dagger alif" (Scheherazade
> is better in this respect).

This is a font issue, certainly لله can be voweled and retain its
ligatures, this is not that hard but most Arabic fonts has been
constructed years before OpenType and then poorly ported to it (or may
be those limitations are intentional to retain backword compatability),
in any case font limatations shouldn't be reflected on the source text
(it isn't a wise idea to type ffi ligature directly for example).


 Khaled Hosny
 Arabic localiser and member of Arabeyes.org team
 Free font developer
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