[OS X TeX] Fwd: Using a ttf font with separate ligatures in xelatex

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Wed Jul 12 05:03:58 EDT 2006

On 12 Jul 2006, at 9:48 am, S P Suresh wrote:

> Dear all,
> One of my friends has the following doubt regarding xelatex (he  
> uses Linux), and I do not know any other place to look for help.

A better place to look for help would be the XeTeX mailing list; see  

But having said that, see below...

>> I am trying to use "Minion Regular", a Windows TTF font, in
>> xelatex.  The font comes as two separate files:
>> 1. Minion Regular        : Contains the normal symbols
>> 2. Minion Expert Regular : Has ligatures and old style numerals
>> My problem is the following: How do I tell xelatex that the
>> ligatures for Minion Regular are to be found in Minion Expert
>> Regular?  If I just use Minion Regular without any additional
>> information, xelatex does not generate any ligatures.
>> I have found directives in fontspec.sty to tell xelatex about
>> which font to use for BoldFace, Italics etc, but I have not found
>> any mechanism to specify an auxiliary file for ligatures.
>> Any ideas?

You can't do this (except, I suppose, by the nightmare approach of  
handling it all in TeX macros with active characters, etc., and  
switching fonts as needed, but that's a ridiculous idea).

XeTeX relies on OpenType tables to provide the information to access  
ligatures, alternate numerals, etc. This version of Minion appears to  
be a pre-OpenType legacy font, and so XeTeX will not do anything  
special with it. There is no way for XeTeX to know that certain  
"Minion Regular" glyphs (numerals, character pairs, etc.) could be  
replaced with entirely different glyphs from "Minion Expert Regular".  
As far as the software is concerned, these are two unrelated fonts,  
and the only way to access the "Expert" font would be by manually  
selecting it.

I believe Minion Pro is available (free) with current versions of  
Adobe Reader, so upgrading to a modern OpenType font should be fairly  


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