[XeTeX] Guaranteed Unicode replacement glyph in every TeX installation?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sun Aug 22 16:14:58 CEST 2021

On Fri, 20 Aug 2021 at 22:46, Doug McKenna <doug at mathemaesthetics.com>

> Using XeTeX, I want to typeset a LaTeX document into a PDF file.  The
> LaTeX source code in UTF-8
expressly includes the Unicode Replacement character (� = U+FFFD) (a black
> diamond with a
question mark in it).
> I want to typeset it in this single document using a monospaced font in
> one place, and in another
place in a variable-width font.
> I understand that XeTeX can take advantage of one's system's installed
> fonts, but my LaTeX file
is being generated by another program that doesn't know what those fonts
> are or what glyphs
they support.  I simply want to guarantee that the fonts used are always
> available when processing
that LaTeX file.

> I also understand that it's possible to synthesize the glyph graphically
> without using a font, but I'd
rather not go that route.
> So ... What fixed-width and variable-width OpenType (or other) fonts, if
> any, are always distributed
with TeX or TeXLive or whatever that one can rely upon to be available for
> placing this particular
glyph in a final PDF file?  What would be the correct incantation to doing
> so?

0xFFFD should be in any mainstream general use OpenType font.  It might be
better to ask which
OT fonts to avoid due to low quality, bugs, lack of ongoing support, etc.
There has been a lot of
churn in the available fonts over the years, so the answer may be different
if you need fonts that
can be expected to have long-term support and availability.

George N. White III
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