Computers & Writing Systems
Using XeTeX with iTeXMac
TeX Live (multi-platform, includes XeTeX)
MikTeX (for Windows, includes XeTeX)
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.
In order to use iTeXMac with XeTeX, there are two main tasks to undertake: configuring the editor to work with Unicode (UTF-8) files, and setting up a project that uses XeTeX as the typesetting engine.
My thanks to Adam Maxwell for these notes on configuring iTeXMac to work with XeTeX. As I have taken the liberty of making minor edits to his notes, he should not be held responsible for any errors!
Customizing the File Encoding Menus
See File Encoding in the iTeXMac online help for details of general considerations about the file encoding.
You can customize the file encoding menu displayed by iTeXMac by providing a resource file located in your home directory at ~/Library/Application Support/iTeXMac/General/Encodings.plist.
This file is created or edited using the iTeXMac(Encoding) editor, which can be launched by choosing the menu item.
If the file does not exist, create a new file by choosingin the Encoding editor, and then add encodings by dragging them from the column on the left to the column on the right. When you have finished customizing the menu, choose and save the file to the location specified above.
If the Encodings.plist file already exists, you will have a menu option which will open your personal encoding menu for customization:
Customizing the encoding list with the iTeXMac(Encoding) editor
When you are finished editing, quit the iTeXMac(Encoding) editor and your new encoding list will appear in iTeXMac under.
If you do not see the expected item in the encoding menus (Mac OS Roman instead), either you have misspelled the declaration, or the encoding is not available in your system implementation.
Defining a Project
To use XeTeX, you can define a new Generic Project in iTeXMac which can be used to call XeTeX (or XeLaTeX) on any file that you choose.
A Generic Project in iTeXMac parlance is a rootless project, i.e. it has no particular .tex file associated with it. A project defines commands that can be bound to the compile (C), typeset (T), bibliography (B), and makeindex (I) buttons on the iTeXMac text editor, as well as the macro sets which will be accessible from the editor menus. To access the settings for each of these, use the buttons along the bottom of the iTeXMac project window.
To create such a project, go to ~/Library/Application Support/iTeXMac/Generic projects, and it will show up in iTeXMac's and menus., and make a "Project" document called XeTeX.pTeXMac. It should then be saved in
Click the "File" button at the bottom of your new project window, and check the "Generic Project" checkbox (this is where you could associate the project with a particular file).
Creating a Generic Project in iTeXMac
Click the "Compile" button at the bottom of your new project window, and enter
and press Return to validate the command. Save the project.
Specifying xetex in the iTeXMac Compile script
Further, you can bind a typeset command to the "T" button, which might run your compile command twice, and perhaps runs bibtex, makeindex, etc. I generally make a rooted project that I associate with a particular article that I'm working on, and put specific commands for that paper in my typeset script (I use the nomencl package, which requires a makeindex command that I can never remember), using Bourne shell syntax. An example is shown in this figure:
Setting up a custom Typeset script in an iTeXMac project
One further note: you also must set the Macros up properly, or else you won't see them in the editor. Presently, the only macro sets supplied are for LaTeX, so make sure that your Macros view looks like this:
Specifying the Macros for an iTeXMac project
To use your new project, choose ~/Library/Application Support/iTeXMac/Generic Projects (or /Library/… or /Network/Library/… for machine-wide or network-wide domain configurations).in the iTeXMac application, assuming you saved the project file in
For further information on projects, see the iTeXMac online help, and look at the generic projects supplied with the program.