[XeTeX] which TeX-based software

David J. Perry hospes.primus at verizon.net
Fri Apr 27 16:55:43 CEST 2018

Unless you have the mindset of a programmer and enjoy writing everything 
from scratch, I would go with XeLaTeX rather than plain XeTeX.

William's advice about gradually locating packages that will help you is 
good.  I have used the memoir class to typeset a fairly complex book 
(side margins, many tables, etc.).  Memoir gives you a lot of control 
over your page layout.  Its documentation is excellent and very 
extensive.  As is usually the case with computer stuff, power = 
complexity; you might want to work for a bit with one of the simpler 
classes to get the hang of how things are done in XeLaTex before 
plunging into learning memoir (or koma, which I don't have experience 

On 4/26/2018 8:20 AM, 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:
> + Roman script, in a Unicode environment. Some of the documents will 
> have special characters, but nothing exotic. (So I am thinking XeTeX 
> or XeLaTeX or something else Unicode-y ...)
> + handles a document with plenty of styles e.g. dictionary
> + double or single column on the page
> + can place cross references at bottom of page, or in L or R margin 
> lined up with caller, or in text area at end of paragraph, or in text 
> area at end of section.
> + plenty of illustrations of various sizes (that have to share the 
> page with footnotes, cross references etc)
> + the range of the paragraph numbers on a page can be shown in its header
> + with numbered sentences, can place the number in the margin without 
> messing up the paragraphing.
> Other features I am looking for:
> + runs on Linux (and preferably also on Windows and Mac)
> + no recurring license fees
> + ideally would have some pre-existing materials/courses to help me 
> learn to use it
> If all the software can do these things, I would appreciate any 
> recommendations you can make regarding the strengths and weaknesses of 
> the various options there are.
> thanks
> Chris
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