[XeTeX] PDFs and advanced font features

Bogdan Butnaru bogdanb+xetex at gmail.com
Fri Oct 29 18:13:56 CEST 2010

On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 17:38, Elliott Roper <elliott at yrl.co.uk> wrote:
> [...] The searchable image you have seen is an optional output from
> Acrobat Professional's OCR processing. It has no chance on earth of
> OCR-ing ligatures and swashes, and wouldn't know a small cap if one
> jumped up and bit it.

Yeah, sure, I just mentioned that as an indication that what I need
might be possible.

The part about ligatures was just another example. That said, I
suspect that the ligatures “work” (i.e., you can search for their
letters) with a lot of special-casing from some part of the viewer. I
noticed that standard ones like “ff" or “fi” worked, but in the same
document, with the same font, non-quite-as-standard ones like “Th”
didn’t. Or perhaps LaTeX handles them differently, I don’t know.

> Since you are resigned to recruiting agencies and others mangling your
> beautiful work, and since your aim is to get your CV in front of a
> competing horde of generous employers, you better admit your role is
> not to teach recruiters typography. [...]
> Sadly, the best way to hawk a CV to recruiters is to do it in
> Word. Default styles, default fonts and no hand formatting beyond an
> emphasis character style. They are going to copy then "paste special" to
> give it their corporate image whether you like it or not.
> It's ugly out there.

Yes, well, that doesn’t mean we can’t strive for improvement :)

Anyway, I gave the CV as an example simply because I was working on it
at the moment. This is quite a common problem—I’ve seen lots of PDFs
where it annoyed me—and like it or not, PDF has its uses and few

By the way, I managed to fix my particular problem by splitting the
font in several different ones and a lot cludges in the LaTeX source.
But it was a lot of annoying work (and ugly, too). I’m still looking
for a better way.

I’ve seen Joel Salomon reply with a couple of macros, but haven’t had
time to try them yet. They look suspiciously similar to what I’ve
tried and failed; I suspect they won’t handle the complex positioning
I have in mind, but I’ll try.

--Bogdan Butnaru

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