[tex-live] Fontconfig for XeTeX versus regular fontconfig

Ulrike Fischer news3 at nililand.de
Thu Oct 27 17:30:51 CEST 2011

Am Thu, 27 Oct 2011 15:18:15 +0100 schrieb Philip TAYLOR (Webmaster,

>> 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

Well the real hell is if the xetex (the part from tex to xdv) use
one font and xdvipdfmx (xdv->pdf) the other and you get a pdf not
only with the wrong font but with completly wrong glyphs ;-)

This was the problem I was referring to and this should be fixed
imho in xetex.

Your problem was that a font name can match more than one font - I
don't see too how fixing xetex can help here, you will have to be
more precise when giving the font name.

Ulrike Fischer 

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