[OS X TeX] Accented characters in Xe(La)TeX

cfrees at imapmail.org cfrees at imapmail.org
Sat May 29 12:12:37 EDT 2010

On Sat 29th May, 2010 at 11:12, Peter Dyballa seems to have written:

> Am 29.05.2010 um 02:26 schrieb <cfrees at imapmail.org> <cfrees at imapmail.org>:
>> Skia and Hoefler Text include some missing characters; Venturis gives
>> frankly weird output.
> No, it's rather OK. Not available glyphs are substituted with U+FFFF, which, 
> depending on the font's design, can have different shapes.
Do you mean that you don't get missing characters when you typeset the
test file? At least not for Skia and Hoefler?
>> I take it the missing characters (^W, ^Y etc.) are due to Skia, Hoefler
>> and Venturis lacking them. So  unlike TeX, XeTeX does not or cannot
>> create accented glyphs on the fly?
> It can! You've seen it in all fonts you used in your test file.

No. In my output, I get missing character symbols in place of ^W, ^Y
etc. for everything bar Latin Modern. That is, Skia and Hoefler
demonstrate this, too - I assumed because these fonts lack Wcircumflex,
wcircumflex etc.

> The problem 
> with Venturis ADF is that the font does not have combining accents:
> 	otfinfo -g 
> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/arkandis/venturis/VenturisADF-Regular.otf 
> | wc -l
> 	     263
> 	otfinfo -g 
> /usr/local/texlive/2008/texmf-dist/fonts/opentype/arkandis/venturis/VenturisADF-Regular.otf 
> | grep -i combin | wc -l
> 	       0
> So you only have the pre-composed glyphs available. LM, Skia, Hoefler, and 
> others are real Unicode fonts and not just a restricted PostScript font file 
> wrapped into OTF clothes with automatically created tables in their pockets 
> with some standard features.
Except that the output is wrong even for glyphs which Venturis
definitely does contain. That's why I think there's another problem
here. (e.g. the fi ligature is used instead of "U, copyright in place
of OE and 1/2 in place of copyright etc.) And it isn't even all the
Venturis fonts - only some of them.
>> Which means that XeTeX on a Mac will *never* use type 1 fonts, TFM
>> files etc.? (So it reads pdftex.map to no real purpose?)
> It tries to avoid it. TFM (not VF) is somehow supported (because it's some 
> TeX), PostScript fonts can also be used. Using both on purpose can be sign of 
> a brain damage: these fonts have no tables which allow typesetting text. They 
> just have the dimensions of the glyphs' boxes and sometimes some kerning 
> information. No way to switch to sub- or superscripts, alternatives, 
> substitutes, ligatures...
> Using TFM or PostScript fonts in XeTeX is like using Fred Flintstone's car. 
> (Although its time seems to return.)
It isn't that I want to use them - I wanted to be sure XeLaTeX was
*not* attempting to use them in the case of Venturis.

> --
> Greetings
> Pete
> A morning without coffee is like something without something else.

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