For some reason, XeTeX isn't providing any kerning no matter font I use.

The font I want to use is Goudy Old Style, which looks like this:

enter image description here

However, I also tried it with Garamond:

enter image description here

And here it is with Time New Roman:

enter image description here

I can't figure out what's wrong! Does it need to be enabled or something? I'm using Windows XP if that makes any difference.

  • 3
    We need a minimal example. And there are many versions of Goudy Old Style, Garamond, and Times; specify which.
    – Thérèse
    Aug 6, 2014 at 19:09
  • 2
    Also, what exactly are you expecting to see? What do you think it would look like if XeTeX was 'providing... kerning'?
    – cfr
    Aug 6, 2014 at 21:03
  • Which TeX distribution (MikTeX?, TeXLive? something else?) do you use, and which vintage of Xe(la)TeX and -- I presume -- fontspec?
    – Mico
    Aug 6, 2014 at 21:15

1 Answer 1


The kern feature is on by default. Unless you have a badly made font with no kerning or poor kerning, or unless you interfere with it (we’d need a minimal example to determine that), you should see kerning.

Note that fonts from different foundries, though all re-creations of the same design, will differ in kerning and even in their glyphs. Here are the two versions of Goudy Old Style I have, for comparison; both handle the “Wo” better than in your image:

% compile with xelatex
% https://p22.com/family-Goudy_Oldstyle
\setmainfont{LTC Goudy Oldstyle Pro}[
  Contextuals=NoAlternate% use the longer descenders Goudy preferred

% https://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/sorts-mill-goudy
\newfontface\ofl{OFL Sorts Mill Goudy}[
  Scale=MatchUppercase% to make comparison easier
Working towards

{\ofl Working towards}

output of the above example

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