[OS X TeX] xetex, latex, and plain tex

Frederick Hoyt fmhoyt at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Dec 10 10:19:34 EST 2004


I am in a bind in that there are features of each of xetex and latex 
that I would like to use but which do not seem to be compatible with 
each other. Xetex offers the ability to typeset using a variety of ttf 
fonts (arabic in particular), while latex has commands for margin 
notes. Since both xetex and latex are based on "plain" tex, I am 
wondering if working in plain tex would allow me to have my cake and 
eat it too.

The project in question consists of typesetting instructional materials 
for a second- or third-year arabic course. The professor on whose 
behalf I am working does not like the font embedded within arabtex 
because it includes some complex ligatures that he is afraid will be 
difficult for students to read. Xetex offers a very nice way of 
typesetting with various arabic fonts producing very nice results. 
However, the professor also wants to have left- and right-hand margin 
notes containing glosses for words in the text. These notes need to 
align properly with the line containing the word being glossed. This is 
possible in latex using the \marginpar command, but as far as I can 
tell this is not possible in Xetex.

So, can someone tell if there are (non-latex) plain tex commands for 
margin notes that would work in xetex? Or alternately, is there a way 
to embed the way xetex uses fonts inside a latex document?


Fred Hoyt


"Hell is other people at breakfast." - Sartre

Frederick M. Hoyt
Linguistics Department
University of Texas at Austin

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