[XeTeX] Running xelatex on the examples in XeTeX_doc.zip

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Tue Sep 1 23:39:28 CEST 2009

Hello Ravi

> Yes, that helps a lot. I'm wasn't sure if I should be using xelatex or
> xetex to process the .tex files under Samples/ (extracted from
> XeTeX_doc.zip). Can I assume the xetex command to be equivalent to the
> latex command, and xelatex equivalent to pdflatex? The difference I'm
> seeing here is that the format/syntax of files fed to these commands
> is different, whereas this isn't true while dealing with latex.

No:         xetex = tex  [that is:  plain TeX]
               xelatex = latex

The different is that the Xe....  programs handle Unicode-compliant fonts, 
Open Type formats, bidirectionality, etc.  But certainly if you have 
\begin...   and \end.... at either end of the files, and things like 
\documentclass, these are (Xe)LaTeX files and will only process with 
XeLaTeX, not XeTeX.  But if you are trying to process samples that invoke 
fonts which are not on your system, then the attempt will fail.  However, as 
had been indicated, you can certainly change the fonts in the sample 
documents and substitute fonts that you definitely have on your system:  the 
processing should then work, though you will obviously not get the same 
visual results as you see in the sample PDFs that are included in your 

Both XeLaTeX and XeTeX produce PDF files directly, normally with no 
intermediate file generated that the user needs to bother with:  so you 
don't get a .dvi file but go straight to PDF.  (That is not exactly true but 
it'll do for now!)


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ravi Parimi" <rparimi at gmail.com>
To: "Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms" <xetex at tug.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 10:23 PM
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] Running xelatex on the examples in XeTeX_doc.zip

> On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 1:42 PM, Fr. Michael
> Gilmary<FrMichaelGilmary at maronitemonks.org> wrote:
>> Ken Brown wrote:
>>> I think what Peter Dyballa was trying to say is that you should be 
>>> running
>>> xetex, not xelatex.
>> No --- the files found in: ==>>
>> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/doc/generic/velthuis
>> are named "xetex-examples.tex" and "xetex-misspaal.tex", but they are
>> xelatex documents: each source begins with:
>>> % Requires font Gargi_1.7 which is often installed in Linux
>>> % see http://salrc.uchicago.edu/resources/fonts/available/hindi/
>>> % for Hindi, Marathi and Nepali fonts
>>> \documentclass[11pt]{article}
>>> \usepackage{ifxetex}
>>> \RequireXeTeX
>>> \usepackage{fontspec}
>>> \setmainfont[Script=Devanagari,Mapping=velthuis]{Gargi_1.7}
>> <etc.>
>> and
>>> % Requires font Nakula by John Smith,
>>> % see http://bombay.indology.info/software/fonts/devanagari/index.html
>>> \documentclass[12pt]{article}
>>> \usepackage{ifxetex}
>>> \RequireXeTeX
>>> \usepackage{fontspec}
>>> \newcommand\dn{\catcode`\~=12
>>> \fontspec[Script=Devanagari,Mapping=velthuis-sanskrit]{Nakula}}
>> I think that the command \documentclass requires XeLaTeX and won't work 
>> on
>> plain XeTeX.
>> Each requires special fonts, too, and I think that's the principal
>> difficulty for Ravi.
>> If not ... just say so!
>> HTH.
> Michael,

> thanks again! 

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