I was recently writing a beamer presentation using Xelatex to load Arial Narrow as the font (work insists on Arial Narrow!), and using Ligatures=TeX to ensure double hyphens and quotations marks are sorted out for me. Everything was fine for ages, but all of a sudden the double hyphens and quotation marks are not being picked up correctly.

I'm using Tex Live 2015 on Windows 7, here's a minimal example:



\setsansfont{Arial Narrow} 


Some texts with some hyphens--hypens, and some ``quotation marks''.


On my computer, this MWE will generate a slide using Arial Narrow, but the double hyphen won't be corrected, and the quotes will remain explicitly `` and ''.

I have the same problem no matter how I call fontspec, whether directly or with xltxtra. It also makes no difference whether the Ligatures=TeX is put in the original call or declared after as I have done here.

But the really weird bit to me is what happens when I uncomment out the fontenc call. If I uncomment the call as it is above then absolutely nothing happens. Yet if I then move it to anywhere after the call to xltxtra (or a direct call to fontspec) then the double hyphens etc get picked up again - BUT, the Arial Narrow font is no longer loaded and instead some serif font is used. Previously I had no problems, regardless of when and where fontenc was called.

I've no idea why everything worked fine and then sudden broke. Has there been an update to Tex Live recently that could have done this? Or a Windows 7 update? I keep both updated.


  • Welcome to TeX.SE. On my system (MacTeX2015, MacOSX 10.11.1 "El Capitan"), XeLaTeX produces no output at all, whereas LuaLaTeX runs fine, ie., produces smart quotes and an en-dash. – Mico Nov 14 '15 at 16:06
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    On my system (TeX Live 2015), I get the ligatures as expected. You should add \usefonttheme{professionalfonts} and do \usepackage{fontspec} instead of \usepackage{xltxtra} (but these are recommendations, and the output doesn't change). – egreg Nov 14 '15 at 16:07
  • I'm using TeX Live 2015 in Windows 7, and I get the expected hyphens and quotation marks. – Sverre Nov 14 '15 at 16:10
  • Well this is very strange. Just ran the same code on OSX at home and no problem. Still giving me nonsense on Windows. – Mooks Nov 14 '15 at 16:17
  • Update: uploading the fontspec package and using \setmainfont instead of setsansfont (and not loading xltxtra) makes your code run under XeLaTeX as well on my system -- and produce the same output that LuaLaTeX does. – Mico Nov 14 '15 at 16:42

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