[OS X TeX] TeX, Unicode, and OpenType

William F. Adams wadams at atlis.com
Wed Feb 2 08:49:18 EST 2005

On Feb 2, 2005, at 7:56 AM, Peder Axensten wrote:

> I know very little about the basic tex (or actually etex) engine, but 
> to me it seems that TeX, utf8, and OpenType would be a perfect 
> marriage. The distribution would include one OpenType font in the four 
> bold/italic variants with all characters in one font -- mathematical 
> symbols, cyrillic alphabetc, chinese characters, etc. I guess there 
> would be a committee to decide what glyphs to include in the font. 
> Other fonts could contain a subset and fallback on the basic font for 
> missing characters. Etc.
> I would really appreciate if someone with insight could elaborate on 
> why this has not happend.

First off, much of the first part has happened. There's Jonathan Kew's 
XeTeX which supports Unicode and OpenType fonts.

The font front is lagging a bit, but there are Computer Modern Super by 
Vladimir Volovich, as well as Latin Modern by Boguslaw Jackowski --- 
but the math font support isn't finished yet.

Also, the Esstix project has been hung up on drawing the last few 
characters and hasn't yet released their Times-compatible Unicode math 

Once a Unicode OpenType math font is available there will need to be 
worked out a way to provide to TeX all of the extra information which 
it needs about characters to allow proper math typesetting which isn't 
considered in the OpenType format as it thus stands.


William Adams, publishing specialist
voice - 717-731-6707 | Fax - 717-731-6708

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