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This is a bug in the TeX--XeT bidirectional extension (from e-TeX) used in current version of XeTeX, which reverses the order of nodes in right-to-left mode so that the order of the coloured text is reversed. Next version of XeTeX reverted back to the original TeX-XeT extension from (Knuth and Pierre MacKay) which does not “physically” reverse the nodes, ...


Originally I thought this might be resolved by using the supported LaTeX syntax of \makebox[0pt][l]{<content>} rather than the plain-TeX \llap, but the behavior is the same. The \Xlap commands cause issues in certain places because they are \hboxes (TeX primitives, not \mboxes (LaTeX macros). See further details here. Might be worth noting in any case. ...

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