[XeTeX] Trouble with displaying word containing 3 conjunct consonants in Devanagari

Benct Philip Jonsson bpj at melroch.se
Mon Sep 21 15:22:41 CEST 2009

Ravi Parimi skrev:
> On Sun, Sep 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM, Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj at melroch.se> wrote:
>> Ravi Parimi skrev:
>>> Hi,
>>> I'm using xelatex Version 3.1415926-2.2-0.999.6 (Web2C 7.5.7) on Max
>>> OSX 10.5.8 with Devanagari MT.
>>> There's a word that contains the following sequence of letters: ङ् ख्
>>> ये (which is zf + Kf + ye using the devanagri qwerty keys). When run
>>> through xelatex, I see that the final य (y) doesn't merge into the
>>> previous two letters. Instead, I see a halant character intervening
>>> the first two letters (ङ् + ख्) and the final letter (य).
>> Are you sure the conjunct exists in the font?
>> It looks like a conjunct which would require
>> its own glyph.
> Is there a way to figure out (other than creating the .tex and
> processing it with xelatex) what level of conjuncts are supported by
> the font I'm using (Devanagari MT). Also, would you know if there are
> other fonts which support a wider variety of glyphs, conjuncts etc.
> for the Mac?
> Thanks

Just test with a number of other fonts and see if you get
the conjunct in them.  As far as I'm aware any TTF/OTF
font should work on the Mac (I'm on Ubuntu).  A good place to
start would be


Chandas while not being the most beautiful font produces the
desired conjunct without a glitch!

As someone else said XeTeX lets you get any glyph in a font
with a \XeTeXglyph command.

The trouble is to find out what glyph exist and what glyph index 
number they have.  This script is helpful:

%!TEX TS-program =  xetex
%!TEX encoding =  UTF-8 Unicode

% glyphlist.tex -- to find glyphs and their index

\font\test="Chandas" at 14pt

\newcount\charcount \charcount0


\hbox{\test\XeTeXglyph\charcount} % \hfill\break % Uncomment for 
more easily scanned list!
  \ifnum\charcount<4450 \advance\charcount1 \repeat
% First set this number to something very high and
% run the file with xetex.  You will get an error
%	** ERROR ** Invalid glyph index (gid <number>)
% If you don't get this error message there are more
% glyphs in the font than your trial number; increase
% the number and try again!
% Now set the number to the number in the error
% message -1 and xetex it again. You will get a
% compact list of all glyphs in the font.


You can just hope that the glyphs in a font come in some
logical order, since the list can be hard to scan.
For example I couldn't find the ;nkhy glyph in Chandas
although I evidently could evoke it with ङ्ख्य in XeLaTeX!

Once you find a glyph something like \def\ipaB{\XeTeXglyph2886}
(To get the IPA-style beta in Junicode) is helpful.

/BP 8^)>
Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se
  "C'est en vain que nos Josués littéraires crient
  à la langue de s'arrêter; les langues ni le soleil
  ne s'arrêtent plus. Le jour où elles se *fixent*,
  c'est qu'elles meurent."           (Victor Hugo)

More information about the XeTeX mailing list