[XeTeX] Finding out if a font supports a particular Unicode character and using it

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 17:03:09 CET 2010

On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 2:42 AM, R (Chandra) Chandrasekhar
<chyavana at gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear Folks,
> Pardon me please if this question is naive.
> I would like to use the Unicode character U+2605 Black Star in the
> Miscellaneous Symbols block, or lternatively, the character U+272A Circled
> White Star in the Dingbats block in a .tex file.
> I have two questions:
> 1. How might I find out if a chosen font does indeed provide this symbol? I
> am on Kubuntu 9.10 and have kcharselect and gucharmap, but do not know of an
> efficient way of finding this out. Are there any utilities to do this
> efficiently?

There is also fontmatrix.  It doesn't have a "search all fonts" for a
glyph, but
it allows you to organize fonts into sets (e.g., those with TeX support)
and has good ways to view a selected font.  When I need a glyph I start
the fonts I used the most and work out from there.

> 2. Once I have found a font supporting the desired symbol, how might I
> invoke this symbol in a .tex file to be processed by XeLaTeX? I am thinking
> along the lines of:
> \newfontfamily{\myfont}[Script=????]{Font????}
> \newcommand{\pentagram}{\myfont ★}
> Chandra
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George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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