I'm typesetting a novel using the memoir class and trying to figure out whether to use XeTeX or LuaTeX. As per the microtype documentation, protrusion, expansion and (=auto) work with LuaTeX, but only protrusion works with XeTeX.

Does this matter much when it comes to a novel?

  • Probably not ... unless, perhaps, it is self-published ... or perhaps even: self-published and you want to publish, say, an ergodic novel like House of Leaves. If you hope to get someone else to publish it, you might want to focus on keeping it as easy as possible to convert it to other formats in case publishers don't want your PDF. – jon Jun 4 '16 at 21:42
  • Welcome to TeX.SE. For sure, issues of page size and page layout, margin choices, font type choices, and font size choices are far more important than any microtype-related choices. – Mico Jun 4 '16 at 21:42
  • @jon yes, I'm planning to publish it myself, and it is just plain text. No pictures, nothing. I'm concerned about the justification, inter-word spacing and hyphenation. How would all this work with XeTeX? – Ram Iyer Jun 4 '16 at 22:06
  • @mico I chose XeTeX coz I'll have more flexibility with fonts. :) – Ram Iyer Jun 4 '16 at 22:07
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    Well, microtype helps with justification matters generally. (I prefer LuaTeX as a matter of choice; and pdfTeX when I'm doing something simple and quick. But I don't write novels.) Note that XeTeX does not give more flexibility with fonts (compared to LuaTeX). – jon Jun 4 '16 at 22:08

microtype has defaults which can take care of most of the text in memoir. I tried the defaults with LuaLaTeX as well as XeLaTeX. And then I tried it with pdfLaTeX. I liked the output of pdfLaTeX as well as LuaLaTeX.

Takeaway: LuaLaTeX seems to work better with microtype, when compared with XeLaTeX.

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