[texhax] Using XeTeX to select fonts

Clint Olsen clint.olsen at gmail.com
Wed Jan 30 00:14:36 CET 2013

On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:47 PM, Uwe Lück <uwe.lueck at web.de> wrote:
> On a Mac, I have never tried TeX. Anyway, the last
> sentence surprises me very much. I believe that even
> on a Mac, you can use Plain TeX or ConTeXt (Mark II)
> with pdfTeX. Or are you saying that pdfTeX doesn't
> work at all on a Mac? Or perhaps you are saying that
> you insist on "Hoefler Text". Be it a Mac or whatever,
> it may need special aptitude to turn an arbitrary
> OpenType font into a font that pdfTeX can process.

All of these TeX processors are available in MacTeX, but yes if I'd
like to use a non-native font to TeX like the resident TTF or OTF
fonts, I must use one of these other TeX processors like XeTeX in
order to be able to do that.

> What fontspec article? I have looked at the fontspec
> documentation. fontspec is a package for LaTeX.
> I cannot find anything in the documentation about
> using any TeX engine without LaTeX.

Sorry, I mistyped that. I did not mean fontspec (which is a LaTeX
package as you mentioned). I found a primer on XeTeX which described
the font selection in detail which you commented on below.

[ an hour of Googling later ]

I originally stumbled on the XeTeX Reference (*sigh* why was it such
in a pain in the ass to find this?):


This goes into gory detail describing the \font command and how you
select variants etc.

Thanks again,


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