[XeTeX] fonts and diacritics

Pander pander at users.sourceforge.net
Sat Jun 13 11:54:44 CEST 2015

On 06/13/2015 10:23 AM, hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de wrote:
> I am planning my first publication formatted with XeLaTeX (rather than
> pdflatex) and have tried out
> a few fonts.
> 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).
> 1. Did I miss anything (a trick in XeTeX)? Since other fonts (for
> instance all TeXGyre fonts) work
> just fine, I thought not.
> 2. Or is it the case that some (actually many) fonts supposed to work
> with XeTeX are weak in
> diacritics?
> 3. If so, is it possible to make any predictions whether a commercial
> font will or will not suffer
> the same fate. I would of course not want to buy one of the "Top Ten
> Typefaces" (1. Minion, 2. ITC
> Baskerville) only to find out that they are unusable for the purpose.
> Any comments and experiences, tests if you have some of those fonts,
> would be most welcome!

Why don't you use UTF-8? In that way the content of your document is
better searchable and exchangeable.

For intuitively entering characters with diacritics in UTF-8, have a
look at https://www.createspace.com/3758226 Despite the title the
content is still valid. At the time of publication it was even further
than compose key bindings that were shipped with operating systems.

To be able to show as many as possible characters with diacritics, I
used https://www.gnu.org/software/freefont/ Even some characters were
specially added upon my request for the creation of the book. Probably
all characters you need are already supported.

I am using the upstream version of these fonts to have as many
characters as possible. For that I use a script with the following commands:

rm -rf $TL/truetype/public/gnu-freefont
if [ ! -e freefont ]
    svn co svn://svn.savannah.gnu.org/freefont/trunk/freefont
cd freefont
svn update
cd sfd
make otf
cp -f *otf $TL/opentype/public/gnu-freefont/



> Jürgen
> ---
> Prof. Dr. Juergen Hanneder
> Philipps-Universitaet Marburg
> FG Indologie u. Tibetologie
> Deutschhausstr.12
> 35032 Marburg
> Germany
> Tel. 0049-6421-28-24930
> hanneder at staff.uni-marburg.de
> --------------------------------------------------
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