[OS X TeX] XeLaTeX?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Sat Jan 24 16:39:47 EST 2009

On 24 jan 2009, at 21:56, david craig wrote:

> As for fonts ...
>> It's not the case anymore, since XeTeX and XeLaTeX exist.
> I am unclear on the level of compatibility between XeLaTeX and  
> LaTeX. Will LaTeX files compile under XeLaTeX precisely as they  
> would under LaTeX?  If yes, why does TeXShop not default to XeLaTeX  
> now?

This answer has several levels:

- If you use psticks or psfrag, you can't use xe(la)tex without  
changes to your source. (or switch from latex+dvips to pdflatex).
- If you customized your layout (especially including font changes)  
you will have to change your source to get the layout in xelatex.
- If you are heavy on mathematical typesetting, not all fonts will be  
able to handle all symbols.
- Journals expect you to send 'standard' latex.

In short: the tex world is somewhat conservative. This is a good  
thing: it likes to be safe, rather than too advanced.

There are enough little changes you need to make switching from  
pdfLaTeX to XeLaTeX to make support a nightmare if the default is  
switched. Besides, a lot of the documentation on custom layout is  
suddenly obsoleted.

Hope this helps,


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