[XeTeX] ligatures in (plain) XeTeX

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Sat Nov 20 16:18:33 CET 2010


st and ct will be more awkward but see below.  For the regular ones, 
including the pseudo-ligatures for the en and em dashes, just specify TeX 
mapping when you invoke the font, e.g.

\font\ubsrten = 
"BaskervilleMTPro-Regular:+onum:mapping=tex-text:letterspace=1.6" at 10pt

That will give you 10pt Baskerville with old-style figures, a slightly 
expanded inter-letter space (Monotype Baskerville seemed awfully tight so I 
experimented a bit - but you may not need or want the letterspace option at 
all, in which case just omit it.)  The name of the roman version of the font 
will not be BaskervilleMTPro-Regular on your system of course - you need to 
substitute whatever it is that you use to call the font.

If you can determine where the ct and st ligatures are located in your font, 
you can create a control sequence, e.g.


(Of course substitute the correct HeX figure for my 002B.) You would then 
need to give {\ct} (or just \ct with following space) wherever you want it.

And same mutatis mutandis for \st

You could also use active characters if you don't want to pepper your file 
with {\st} and {\ct} - but even if you locate some character that you know 
you will never actually need, you will still end up with an input file with 
doesn't actually show the letters 'st' and 'ct'. Those more proficient in 
the technicalities of mapping would probably be able to show you how to make 
XeTeX interpret 'st' and 'ct' as ligatures, just as it will do for 'fi' etc. 
But if your fonts are open type it's likely that these are available already 
by switching on a 'historic' feature when you invoke the font,  analogous to 
:+onum for old-style figures above.  It may just be :+hist or some such, but 
examining the properties of the font ought to give you accurate information 
about that.



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jean-Claude Raoult" <JC.Raoult at free.fr>
To: <xetex at tug.org>
Sent: 20 November 2010 11:07
Subject: [XeTeX] ligatures in (plain) XeTeX

> Hello,
> My problem : getting ligatures with (plain) XeTeX, the engine being pdfTeX 
> with TeXShop.
> I am using XeTeX on a iMac under OS X leopard, with a french keyboard 
> (since I am french).
> The coding used is UTF-8.
> A few tests with my preferred fonts (sorry, I am very traditional):
> Apple Garamond (very similar to Monotype Garamond), Baskerville and 
> Hoefler Text :
> The ligatures -- and --- will work neither with Apple Garamond, nor 
> Baskerville, nor HoeflerText.
> The ligatures fi, fl and ff will work with Hoefler Text, fi and fl with 
> Baskerville, none with Apple Garamond.
> However, the ligatures --- (—), fi (fi) and fl (fl) exist on the keyboard as 
> <alt> -, <alt> g and <alt><shift>G.
> If they are typed as such, XeTeX does translate them into the proper 
> ligatures.
> Therefore, they exist in Apple Garamond… and what about st and ct ?
> I am not fond of diving into metafont. Would anybody know how to get them 
> without butchering into
> XeTeX tables ?
> Jean-Claude Raoult
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