[XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

John Was john.was at ntlworld.com
Fri Oct 22 20:32:32 CEST 2010

Hello Gareth

I buy the fonts that I need and *think* (hope!) I am still within the 
requisite licensing parameters.  OUP, at least, have never expressed any 
qualms, though it's certainly a very long time since they asked me about 
what faces I had available.  (It's also, as it happens, rather a long time 
since they asked me to do a book, and I think I may have gone off their 
radar as they have a workflow arrangement that doesn't really cater for the 
same person combining jobs that are usually at successive stages of the 
production schedule, so only my classics periodical remains in the portfolio 
at present:  when I started my all-singing, all-dancing performance this was 
hailed as the way things would 'obviously' go in future, but I seem to have 
remained, or become, a rara avis that doesn't fit in with their m.o.  But 
the fact that I have always typeset in TeX has never been indicated as 
problematic in itself.)

I wouldn't have any confidence about a program claiming to convert my .TEX 
files into useable Word files.  I guess if I could be bothered to acquire 
competence in Perl (vel sim.) I might come up with something custom-made to 
match the way I mark up a (Xe)TeX document, but I should have thought a more 
promising line would be to read the resulting PDF into Word - a 
XeTeX-produced PDF (at least in a language-based text with fairly standard 
layout) ought to have pretty robust Unicode that could be made recognizable 
to Word, though a perfect replica of the format of the PDF is surely rather 


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gareth Hughes" <garzohugo at gmail.com>
To: "Unicode-based TeX for Mac OS X and other platforms" <xetex at tug.org>
Sent: 22 October 2010 17:33
Subject: Re: [XeTeX] (Xe)LaTeX output in a non-(Xe)LaTeX scholarly community

> John Was wrote:
>> Hello
> Hello, John.
>> If it's of any interest, I have been using TeX for many years now to
>> produce OUP humanities publications (Oxford Studies in Ancient
>> Philosophy, recent fascicules of the Medieval Latin Dictionary from
>> British Sources [British Academy but published by OUP], and dozens of
>> monographs in the field of Greek and Latin, with occasional forays into
>> Hebrew and Arabic).  XeTeX has been a great boon but I have always
>> stayed clear of LaTeX flavours, for various reasons - initially, if I
>> can recall with any accuracy my thoughts of 15 years ago or more,
>> because it was at that time rather inflexible (I'm sure I remember a
>> handbook which stated that it was so difficult to adjust the
>> \baselineskip that those preparing their theses in LaTeX should request
>> a dispensation from the normal rule of double spacing).
> This is good news, seeing as my experience of OUP has been having to
> work with word-processed files. What do you do with fonts? Does OUP give
> you their fonts? Otherwise, I would imagine that they would need to make
> sure that the font licence allows for commercial publication. At least
> with theses, seeing as universities are used to scientist wanting to to
> use TeX, they don't get too upset with the rest of us doing so. Even
> though double spacing is still ugly, it is not too difficult to achieve.
>> However, I only occasionally do naked typesetting, as it were, and am
>> normally employed as copy-editor-cum-typesetter, so that I receive
>> word-processed files (almost inevitably in Word these days) and work on
>> them as I see fit, producing PDFs at the end of the process for the
>> manufacturing printer to work with.  I have some very elaborate Word
>> macros set up (barely comprehensible to me!) to convert Word italic into
>> {\it ....\/}, footnotes into {\fn{....}} etc. (I have double braces
>> round my footnotes for reasons that I won't go into), and it all works
>> reasonably smoothly - certainly Greek is a breeze now that I don't have
>> to convert everything to WordPerfect 5.1 and then into a rebarbative
>> transliteration system, as I did when using pure ASCII-based EmTeX.
> ...and punch holes in cards! I find the problem with many tools for
> going from TeX to wp or the reverse is that many try to deal with whole
> documents rather than snippets. I would rather write my preamble and
> then paste in such converted snippets.
>> Interestingly, OUP have recently started requesting my source files
>> (viz. .TEX files) for achiving when I hand over the PDFs of a completed
>> job, though I'm not sure what use they could ever make of them.  I guess
>> their idea is that they might be able to introduce corrections, extra
>> bibliography, etc. for future editions in-house, but I rather think that
>> with my volumes they will be stumped, particularly after I'm
>> institutionalized, buried, or executed for letting through too many 
>> typos.
> Hah! I can understand why OUP want to archive accessible sources, even
> if they can't in reality do anything with them. I wonder if they keep
> copies of all those word-processed files too. When I have produced
> beamer slides for someone, I included a clearly marked-up source file so
> that the presentation could be altered in the future without necessarily
> having to come back to me.
> Gareth.
> -- 
> Gareth Hughes
> Doctoral candidate in Syriac studies
> Department of Eastern Christianity
> Oriental Institute
> Pusey Lane
> Oxford
> OX1 2LE
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