[OS X TeX] Re: using xeTex

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Tue Feb 13 05:14:11 EST 2007

On 13 Feb 2007, at 9:53 am, Manuel Souto Pico wrote:

> Thanks Jonathan!

You're welcome! :)

> I would like to ask for something else. I see that some of my
> knowlodge about latex (acquired with a couple of books about latex and
> searching the Web) is useless if I use xelatex. I'm a bit taken aback
> by this. Could you recommend any (preferably free) resource about
> xelatex or the differences with latex. I prefer spending a bit of time
> reading beforehand (although I suppose I will know many things
> already) instead of searching and/or asking every time I run into a
> problem. I'll be grateful for any suggestion.

Unfortunately, there is very limited documentation as yet; I hope  
this will eventually improve, but resources are pretty scarce. If I  
had more than a fraction of my time available to give to this  
project, perhaps progress could be a little quicker! A couple of  
people have expressed an interest in writing documentation, so that  
may help.

For now, things you should be aware of include:

* Will's excellent documentation for fontspec, the primary way of  
handling fonts in xelatex
* also his "quick reference" guide to xetex commands
   - these are included in current TeXLive-based packages
   - or you can find the latest materials online in directories under

* XeTeX-notes, and various (mostly "plain"-based) sample files  
included in the Documentation and Sample Files archive available from  
<http://scripts.sil.org/xetex_download>. These are not all completely  
up-to-date, but aim to demonstrate the various xetex extensions.

* The xetex mailing list (and its archives), as many questions have  
been answered there:

Be aware that the vast majority of what you've learned about LaTeX  
applies unchanged to xelatex. Essentially everything to do with  
document structure, page layout, etc, is the same. The key  
differences are in the area of fonts, character encodings, and  
"special character" support, and once you understand how this stuff  
works, it's generally far simpler. You just need to get LaTeX's  
legacy packages like inputenc and fontenc out of the way, and allow  
the Unicode text through from input file to output font. And choose  
fonts (via fontspec) that support the Unicode characters you need in  
your documents.


------------------------- Helpful Info -------------------------
Mac-TeX Website: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/
TeX FAQ: http://www.tex.ac.uk/faq
List Archive: http://tug.org/pipermail/macostex-archives/
List Reminders & Etiquette: http://www.esm.psu.edu/mac-tex/list/

More information about the MacOSX-TeX mailing list