I am playing with a font (found here) that has sups/subs defined for figures but not for letters. If I don't enable them, I don't get them:

No proper sups/subs for figures

But if I \usepackage{realscripts} to enable them, I lose the ability to use letters as sub/superscripts at all:

with package realscripts

Is there a way for me to get the subs/sups figures while retaining the ability to use letters in sub/superscripts? Here is my code:

    Extension      = .otf,
    Ligatures      = {Common, TeX},
    ItalicFont     = OFLGoudyStM-Italic]

  M\textsuperscript{abc0123456789def} \\

No, realscripts is only useful if all the glyphs you need to superscript or subscript are drawn specifically in the font. There's no way within XeTeX of detecting whether a given font feature will affect a particular glyph (or run of glyphs), so you can't even know until you typeset the document and inspect the output.

Well, in some cases you could make a box and compare its size before and after setting the font feature, but that method probably has edge-cases that would cause it to be occasionally unreliable.

Another option might be to inspect the contents of the \textsuperscript argument and branch according to the input. I.e.,

\textsuperscript{a1} -> 
\textsuperscript{a}\textsuperscript{1} ->

But this would look terrible because a and 1 would look very different, so it'd be better to use \fakesuperscript (i.e., don't like realscripts) in this case.

| improve this answer | |
  • I think I need \textsuperscript defined as realscripts does to get proper automatic behavior for footnotes. If I call realscripts, is there some way for me to manually specify a superscript with sups disabled? Say \textsuperscript{1} but \mysuperscript{a}, where mysuperscript has sups off? (You just answered this, I didn't know about \fakesuperscript.) – dedded Feb 13 '16 at 2:48
  • Of course. I wrote it in my answer already: \fakesuperscript. There's an unfortunate typo in the documentation, though. The first sentence of section 2 should read "The OLD commands are defined in starred form (e.g., \textsubscript*) for cases where the new commands are not appropriate.". – Will Robertson Feb 13 '16 at 2:53

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