[OS X TeX] Re: Good bye!

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Mon Jan 31 06:00:44 EST 2005

On 31 Jan 2005, at 10:31 am, Thoeger Juul Thorsen wrote:

> I am growing increasingly curious about XeTeX, but I do have some 
> doubts
> still.
> First of all: does XeTeX know *all* latex commands, and does it handle
> all different packages? For instance, does XeTeX recognise Marginpars,
> fancyhdrs, hyperref etc.?

XeTeX is an alternative to the basic TeX or pdfTeX engine; pretty much 
any macro package, such as LaTeX, can be used with it. The "XeLaTeX" 
format, then, is the standard LaTeX system running on the XeTeX engine, 
and provides all the same LaTeX commands as any other LaTeX setup.

Things become more complex with some LaTeX packages. In general, they 
should work just the same with XeTeX as with any other system, but some 
packages depend on specific features of the output driver and/or the 
pdfTeX engine. Examples are graphics-related packages that use a 
particular driver's \special{} support; these are inherently 
non-portable. Packages dealing with fonts and encodings, in terms of 
legacy 8-bit codepages and TeX-specific font layouts, will also 
generally not be appropriate for XeTeX. (Instead, look into the 
utf8accents and fontspec packages; see 

To take these specific examples, I would expect marginpar and fancyhdr 
to work fine, as they are just dealing with page layout within the TeX 
system. (I haven't tried these personally; perhaps other users can 
confirm?) Hyperref depends on features of the specific output driver, 
either pdfTeX or a known DVI driver such as dvipdfm or dvips+Distiller. 
At this time, XeTeX can create hyperref bookmarks and links, via an 
emulation of dvipdfm's \specials, but may not support all other 
hyperref features.

If you have more questions related specifically to the XeTeX system, 
you might want to check out the XeTeX mailing list; see 



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