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As far as I know, I cannot use microtype in XeLaTeX, and cannot use fontspec in pdfLaTeX. I am rendering Chinese symbols only on one page, and I need this line: \newfontfamily{\J}[Scale=0.85]{Osaka} to render the symbols properly.

I want to use microtype and fontspec at the same time; is it possible to tell latex to switch into "pdfLaTeX" mode to render the first half of the document, and then switch back into XeLaTeX to render the other half?

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Have you tried LuaLaTeX? fontspec and parts of microtype work with it. – doncherry Dec 21 '12 at 17:51
I haven't tried LuaLaTeX. I'll give it a shot now. Is there a fundamental syntax change between pdflatex and LuaLaTeX? – alexy13 Dec 21 '12 at 18:03
Or use pdfpages to insert the second half (pre-generated with xelatex) into the main document generated with pdflatex. – JLDiaz Dec 21 '12 at 18:19
@alexy13 See my answer. Basically: No, the syntax is the same; the packages typically loaded are a mixture of pdfLaTeX and XeLaTeX packages. – doncherry Dec 21 '12 at 19:10
If the Chinese part is restricted to one page it would probably be best to compile it with XeTeX and include it using pdfpages. – Alan Munn Dec 21 '12 at 20:04
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I recommend LuaLaTeX, since it supports fontspec and parts of microtype: protrusion and expansion; whereas kerning, spacing, and tracking are not (yet?) supported, cf. the microtype documentation.

For a little background on LuaLaTeX, see:

On your actual question: If you need to switch compilers mid-page, I’m not sure there’s any option other than manually puzzling the pieces together, e.g. with pdfpages, as JLDiaz suggested. Also note that there is a beta version of microtype that supports XeLaTeX, but I don’t know which features; see e.g. neic.dk - XeLaTeX with microtype on TeX-Live 2012.

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Yes, I have experiment with LuaLaTeX and recommend too. It is relative simple to port pdfLaTeX (if you code your doc in UTF-8) and XeLaTeX to LuaTeX. – lazyboy Dec 21 '12 at 19:48
This is one of the cases where LuaTeX and XeTeX are not equivalent. The standard package for dealing with Asian languages xecjk makes extensive use of XeTeX-specific functionality, especially xetexinterchartoks, which doesn't exist in LuaTeX. See Is there a LuaTeX analogue to xetexinterchartoks. – Alan Munn Dec 21 '12 at 20:03
@AlanMunn: Thanks, good to know! I've only ever used Latin (and a wee bit of Greek) script with either compiler. – doncherry Dec 21 '12 at 20:17

You can't change the engine midway through a document. Although much of the time LuaTeX can be used as a drop-in alternative to XeTeX, in the case of Chinese it's not usually true.

If you are using xecjk to compile the Chinese portion of the text, then it will not work to compile the document with LuaTeX, since xecjk makes extensive use of functionality that is specific to XeTeX, specifically xeinterchartoks. See:

for more details on this.

In this situation it would be best to compile the Chinese portion of the document separately using XeTeX and then include the page(s) into the main document using the pdfpages package.

For some more useful information about mixed script documents involving xecjk see especially Leo Liu's answer to:

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