[tex-live] Fontconfig for XeTeX versus regular fontconfig

Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster, Ret'd) P.Taylor at Rhul.Ac.Uk
Thu Oct 27 16:18:15 CEST 2011

Ulrike Fischer wrote:

> The problem exists in various variants also on miktex.
> xetex/xdvipdfmx got confused because of different versions of an
> otf-font in system/texmf, because of otf + ttf versions, even
> because of otf + type1 versions.
>> The right answer here is to fix XeTeX.
> Yes, it would be really useful if the communication between xetex
> and xdvipdfmx could be improved in this respect - or at least if
> they would search fonts in the same way. And if one could tell
> xetex/xdvipdfmx to prefer e.g. otf- over ttf-fonts.

I have that problem here, and it was the very devil to
identify.  This was my original source :

\font \ornatefont = "Script MT Bold" at 48 pt
\font \leadfont = "GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt" at 36pt
\font \subleadfont = "GaramondPremrPro-MedItCapt" at 28pt
\font \clubfont = "GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt" at 31pt
\font \bodyfont = "GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt" at 26pt

but when I ran it, the PDF contained not GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt
at all, but instead GaramondPremrPro-MedDisp -- ugly as hell,
with great disparity between caps height and x-height.  I could
/not/ work out why.  Eventually, in desperation, I tried something
I remembered from a previous XeTeX project :

\font \ornatefont = "Script MT Bold" at 48 pt
\font \leadfont = "[GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt]" at 36pt
\font \subleadfont = "[GaramondPremrPro-MedItCapt]" at 28pt
\font \clubfont = "[GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt]" at 31pt
\font \bodyfont = "[GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt]" at 26pt

and all of a sudden, I had the right fonts.

When I came look for all instances of Garamond on my system,
I had zillions : not only the real thing, from a reputable
font supplier, and installed in my system font directory,
but also multiple copies lurking in the TeX hierarchy :
Garamond TFMs, Garamond VFs, Garamond AFMs, Garamond PFBs,
Garamond PFMs, and probably more besides.

No wonder poor old XeTeX was confused.  What to do ?
I don't know.  Fonts are not my forte.  But if XeTeX
can be asked to use GaramondPremrPro-MedCapt and ends
up using GaramondPremrPro-MedDisp because of something
nasty lurking in the TeX Live installation, then I don't
think that "Fix XeTeX" is necessarily the right approach
(although it might help, if there were expertise and manpower
available to do so).  But we also need to look into TeX Live
and see how it is that components of TeX Live that come as
standard can trick XeTeX into using the wrong font.

My EUR 0,02.
** Phil.

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