[XeTeX] which TeX-based software

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Fri Apr 27 16:24:18 CEST 2018

As a person who really misses Textures, and has used a fair number of
commercial TeX products, no, it's not all opensource, though that's pretty
much all that's left these days, which is a powerful argument to the
virtues of opensource.

xelatex can do what you want, and I believe that if you start with a basic
document, in a robust documentclass such as memoir or koma, look up LaTeX
packages on CTAN and add them incrementally you'll eventually either arrive
at your goal, or determine that one or two things which you wish done are
not yet available as features. Once you determine what those are, you can
determine what's involved in either writing up that functionality on your
own, or hiring someone to do it.


On Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 10:15 AM, Zdenek Wagner <zdenek.wagner at gmail.com>

> Hi,
> everything from the TeX world is free and multiplatform. Of course, there
> are nonfree text editors that can help you with creation of the source text
> and running all task by pushing buttons on a task bar but they are not
> needed and free tools are available.
> Both plain XeTeX and XeLaTeX are built upon the same set of primitives, so
> the capabilities are in principle equvalent. However, the approach is
> different. Users of plain XeTeX are assumed to do everything ourselves,
> packages for various tasks are not generally available. XeLaTeX users
> typically use packages available on CTAN and hence in TeX Live. If you find
> a package for your task, you can easily use it in your document.
> Unfortunatelly, if the package is not configurable and extensible, you will
> have to delve into the plain XeTeX which may be more difficult because
> without understanding the package internals you can easily break it.
> There is no simple advice. If you wish to become a TeXpert and you like to
> find your own solutions without being bound by someone else's packages,
> then plain XeTeX is for you. If you want to be just a user and suiotable
> packages are available and you have a TeX guru nearby, then you can start
> with XeLaTeX more quickly, produce required results and a guru will help
> you with the difficult cases.
> Zdeněk Wagner
> http://ttsm.icpf.cas.cz/team/wagner.shtml
> http://icebearsoft.euweb.cz
> 2018-04-27 15:43 GMT+02:00 Philip Taylor (RHUoL) <P.Taylor at rhul.ac.uk>:
>> Carrs wrote:
>> Hi,
>> a newbie question. I would like advice on which TeX-based software it
>> would be best to learn in detail for my typesetting plans. So far, I have
>> learned a little TeX and a little LaTeX, but not enough of either to tell
>> me which will work best for me.
>> The features I want to be able to typeset are:  [many and complex]
>> XeTeX can do all of these, but the intellectual effort required of a
>> beginner is likely to prove nigh unsurmountable.  I *expect* that
>> XaLaTeX can do the same with somewhat less intellectual input, but as I
>> never use LaTeX in any guise I am not the best person to advise.
>> Philip Taylor
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