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When writing a manuscript or converting from other systems, I can come with Unicode characters for some punctuation marks:

  • u'2026' for … (ellipsis)
  • u'2014' for — (em-dash)
  • u'00AB' for \guillemotleft («)

The use of these characters makes the manuscript (file) less cluttered with macros and I so less intimidating for non LaTeX people who may need to work with it (proofreaders for example).

The use of macros and packages (\ldots, csquotes, …) may be more flexible for customizing spaces around characters for different languages or typographic styles.

Is there an easy way (LuaTeX feature files, converting with script the characters to macros) to tweak the kerning of punctuation characters to adjust for the typographic style? Things like:

  • Spaces around em-dashes
  • Spaces around ellipsis (punctuation after ellipsis, between words, ...)
  • General spaces around punctuation (dot, comma,...) like the french tradition
  • For quotation marks use csquotes (it makes it easier to adapt the style later on). For ellipsis and em-dash use whatever you find easier to input. – Henri Menke May 23 '16 at 9:55
  • @HenriMenke: The same comment as for quotations, would be possible also for em-dashes and ellipsis, isn't it? Eg. Modify the space around em-dashed according to style,... – TeXtnik May 25 '16 at 6:43
  • That is true, but ellipsis and em-dash are single characters whereas quotation marks come in pairs and change with nesting, i.e. search and replace for ellipsis and em-dash is easier in case something changes. Actually, I don't see how your question is not opinion-based in that regard. Sorry, but I'm voting to close. – Henri Menke May 25 '16 at 6:55
  • With the new rephrasing of the question, do you think it is still "primarily opinion-based"? – TeXtnik May 26 '16 at 8:14
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    I’m puzzled by this question. I’ve typed the unicode characters directly for years, and babel adjusts the spacing according to the language with no problem. Are you trying to do what babel does, without using babel? – Thérèse May 26 '16 at 23:59

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