[XeTeX] fonts and diacritics

FC firmicus04 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 18:46:30 CEST 2015

I absolutely agree! I have also written such a script (and library) some
years ago in Perl. After adopting XeTeX I also wanted my input files to be
more readable. It is available here:
It supports the convertion of pretty much all accents, macros, diacritics
and symbols you can imagine.

François Charette

2015-07-01 15:50 GMT+02:00 Robert Zydenbos <xetex at zydenbos.net>:

> Please do not use the traditional TeX codes for the Indic diacritics
> (things like \={a} etc.)! One of the big advantages of XeTeX is precisely
> that it uses Unicode. This means that your input file can be typed using
> any Unicode-supporting text editor (I use TeXShop on a Mac, TeXworks on
> Linux). It is obviously much more efficient to write and read
> "prajñāvādāṃśca bhāṣase" than "praj\~{n}\={a}v\={a}d\={a}\d{m}\'{s}ca
> bh\={a}\d{s}ase". There are numerous good Unicode fonts, also such that are
> freely available, that produce fine results, both onscreen and on paper.
> Because I had a number of files containing all those TeX codes and wanted
> to switch to XeTeX, I wrote a simple program (or 'script', as some people
> say) in Python (the older version 2.7, which is still the standard version
> on many machines; but it can be rather quickly adapted for version 3, I
> imagine) that takes a (La)TeX or ConTeXt input file with the TeX codes for
> Indic diacritical marks and creates an output file with all those codes
> turned into Unicode. (The one condition is that each letter with a
> diacritical mark is placed between braces. "\={a}" etc. will be recognized,
> but "\=a" will not, and therefore will remain unconverted.)
> Should anyone be interested in receiving a copy of the program, please
> write to me off-list.
> Robert Zydenbos
> --
> Prof. Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
> Institut für Indologie und Tibetologie
> Universität München
> On Jun 13, 2015, at 10:23 , hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de wrote:
> > [...]
> >
> > The problem is that I need diacritics for Indian languages. In pdflatex
> I use ucs for the
> > utf-input, which is not perfect, but works with a few tweaks.  Of course
> there can be no serious
> > problem in normal TeX, where you can in the worst case just type things
> like \.n \d{t} and the
> > like, which gives you the diacritics with any font (and mostly looks
> quite good).
> >
> > In XeTeX a considerable number of otf-fonts does not yield the expected
> result. In the ADF fonts,
> > for instance, regardless whether you use ṅ or \.n, it does not work.
> Usually the macron \=a works,
> > but not the underdot ṭ (\d{t}) or the dot above the ṅ (\.n). [...]
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