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NRSI: Computers & Writing Systems

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Short URL: http://scripts.sil.org/xetex_texshop

Using XeTeX with TeXShop

Jonathan Kew, 2004-05-19

Where to go for help

Note: SIL International no longer manages XeTeX development. Please refer to the following paragraphs to find excellent sources of help.

XeTeX Home  http://xetex.sourceforge.net/

For questions or discussion about installing or using XeTeX and related packages, please go to the  XeTeX mailing list hosted by the TeX Users Group, where experienced users and developers are likely to be able to help.

For bug reports about the XeTeX software itself, or specific feature requests (rather than general discussion), there is an  issue tracker hosted at SourceForge.

The comment form on this page is available for general comments about the software or the web pages themselves (yes, I know they need updating!), but please do not expect technical support through this channel. You are much more likely to get useful responses on the  mailing list.

Update — September 2013

The latest release of XeTeX is version 0.9999.3, which is included in  TeX Live 2013. XeTeX is a standard component of the complete  TeX Live distribution. This includes all major TeX-related programs and a huge range of additional fonts, macro packages, and utilities, with ready-to-use binaries for around 15 computer platforms including Mac OS X (PPC and x86), Windows, and various Linux and Unix-like systems on a range of CPU architectures.

The TeX Users Group hosts a  XeTeX mailing list where interested users are welcome to discuss bugs, workarounds, wishes, etc.; while no commitments can be made as to future development, all feedback is greatly appreciated.

XeTeX is implemented as a command-line tool, and can be run directly from a Terminal window. However, for most users a graphical front end will make it much easier to use. I recommend  TeXShop, the award-winning (and free) program from Richard Koch.

Update: TeXShop version 1.35

The notes below refer to TeXShop version 1.34; there is now a new release, 1.35, that includes built-in support for the XeTeX typesetting engine, as well as other enhancements. The configuration steps discussed below are no longer necessary; simply choose XeTeX or XeLaTeX from the TeXShop menu.

To use non-ASCII characters in source text, it is still important to use Unicode (UTF-8) rather than other encodings such as Latin-1. See the TeXShop Help for more about file encodings.

Configuring TeXShop versions before 1.35 to use XeTeX

To use XeTeX as the typesetting engine in TeXShop, go to the TeXShop/Preferences… dialog, choose the Misc tab, and enter xetex as the “TeX program” and xelatex as the “LaTeX program”.

Setting TeXShop’s Personal Script to use XeTeX



To make this the default typesetting engine, also go to the Typesetting tab, and choose the Personal Script option as the “Default Script”. Alternatively, for individual documents you can choose Typeset/Personal Script in order to use the XeTeX engine.

Choosing XeTeX as the default typesetting engine in TeXShop



Note that XeTeX input files must be in Unicode. The program will attempt to recognize UTF-8 and UTF-16 files automatically, and this should normally just work; in rare cases, an initial BOM character might be needed to give it a hint. Existing TeX source files that use only 7-bit ASCII characters should work unchanged, as they are also valid UTF-8 files. To allow input files that use non-ASCII characters to be displayed properly in TeXShop editor windows, go to TeXShop/Preferences.../Document and set Encoding/UTF-8 Unicode.

Setting the document encoding in TeXShop



(For compatibility with existing ASCII files, I recommend working with UTF-8 rather than UTF-16, or “OSX Unicode” as TeXShop calls it. Also, XeTeX always uses UTF-8 for the text files it writes, such as the log file and write commands. So for these to be readable within TeXShop, it is best to work with the UTF-8 encoding form.)

Another way to set the recommended TeXShop preferences for use with XeTeX is by executing the following commands in a Terminal window:

    defaults write TeXShop Encoding "UTF-8 Unicode"
    defaults write TeXShop TexScriptCommand "xetex"
    defaults write TeXShop LatexScriptCommand "xelatex"
    defaults write TeXShop DefaultScript 102

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