[OS X TeX] New to the list with a cocktail of questions on how to migrate from Textures

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Sun Feb 5 10:25:51 EST 2006

On 5 Feb 2006, at 3:01 pm, Bruno Voisin wrote:

> Le 5 févr. 06 à 15:46, Jonathan Kew a écrit :
>> However, you can process a Mac Roman document with XeTeX (and use  
>> any standard Mac OS X fonts) by telling XeTeX to interpret the  
>> input file as Mac Roman rather than as Unicode. A small example  
>> would be:
>> % - - - - - enc-test.tex - - - - -
>> %!TEX TS-program = xelatex
>> %!TEX encoding = MacOSRoman
>> \XeTeXinputencoding "macintosh"
>> [...]
> Whao! I wasn't aware of this control sequence \XeTeXinputencoding,  
> it seems very convenient.

Convenient, perhaps. But not necessarily the best option for  
documents that expect to have a long life and wide distribution;  
moving to Unicode is (IMO) a better long-term strategy.

Note that (unlike LaTeX inputenc or similar packages), this alters  
the interpretation of bytes as they're initially read from the input  
file; it doesn't depend on setting up any \active characters, macros,  
etc. within TeX.

When such an input encoding conversion is enabled, each line of input  
is converted to Unicode (using the ICU library), and the Unicode  
characters then read by XeTeX as usual. (And so the \catcode,  
\lccode, \sfcode, etc of the corresponding Unicode characters apply  
exactly as if the input text had been Unicode, and the actual values  
of the original MacOSRoman bytes are no longer relevant within XeTeX.)

> I should have followed the evolution of the documentation more  
> closely (I'm seeing now XeTeX-notes.pdf says it was introduced with  
> version 0.9).

Ah yes.... well, I think you can be excused for overlooking it! I'm  
painfully aware of the lack of a real manual documenting the features  
XeTeX adds to "standard" e-TeX. Some day.......


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