[XeTeX] Fake italics for some characters only

Alan Munn amunn at gmx.com
Wed Dec 5 04:51:57 CET 2018

Can you provide a bit more detail? Maybe a small example document?


Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> I have a somewhat unusual problem. In a document produced using 
> XeLaTeX I need to use four Unicode letters with scarce font support in 
> italicized words and passages but the font which I have to use 
> supports these characters only in roman. The obvious solution is to 
> use the FakeSlant feature of fontspec but I don’t want to enclose 
> these characters in a command argument, in the hope that a future 
> version of the document can use an italic font which supports these 
> characters, but neither do I (perhaps needless to say) want to use 
> fake italics except for these four characters. In other words I would 
> like to perform some kind of “keyhole surgery” in the preamble and use 
> these characters normally in the body of the document, which I guess 
> means having to make them active and somehow detect when they are 
> inside the argument of `\textit`. (Note: it is appropriate to use 
> `\textit` rather than `\emph` here because the purpose of the 
> italicization is to mark text as being in an object language in a 
> linguistic text.) Is that at all possible? I guess I could wrap 
> `\textit` in a macro which locally redefines the active characters, 
> but I’m not sure how to do that, nor how to access the glyphs 
> corresponding to the characters once the characters are active. I am a 
> user who isn’t afraid of using and making the most of various packages 
> or of writing an occasional custom command to wrap up some repeatedly 
> needed operation, but I am no expert. I am aware of all the arguments 
> against fake italics — that is why I want to limit the damage as much 
> as possible! — but I have no choice here. Waiting for the/an 
> appropriate font to include italic versions of these characters is not 
> an option at the moment.
> /Benct
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