# plain XeTeX bold font does NOT work for tibetan fonts

I am using Plain XeTeX to typeset some Tibetan books. But found that the /B option of \font didn't give me the bold version of that font. I did noticed some English fonts have a standalone version of bold font, but the tibetan font available to me do not have one. The MS Word can change the tibetan texts to bold font easily. Have tried a lot of different font like: SambhotaDege, Jomohari, ctrc-uchen, Monlam Uni OuChan2, none of them in the \font command makes differences between with and without /B option. Any suggestions?

\font\Him='Microsoft Himalaya:script=tibt;+abvs;+blws' at 22pt
\font\HimB='Microsoft Himalaya/B:script=tibt;+abvs;+blws' at 22pt

\def\ex{
དཀར་མཛེས་ཨ་ཡིག་ལས་འཁྲུངས་ཡེ་ཤེས་གཏེར།།
ཕས་རྒོལ་ཝ་སྐྱེས་ཟིལ་གནོན་གདུང་ལྔ་བཞིན།།
ཆགས་ཐོགས་ཀུན་བྲལ་མཚུངས་མེད་འཇམ་དབྱངས་མཐུས།།
མ་ཧཱ་མཁས་པའི་གཙོ་བོ་ཉིད་གྱུར་ཅིག།}
\Him \ex \ex \ex

\HimB \ex \ex \ex

\vfil\bye

Here's one sample page from the project that we are working on, to show our gratefulness. Sorry it is not very clear, cause my notebook have a lot resolution.

• Your code does work for Noto Serif Tibetan, which makes me think that Microsoft Himalaya does not have a bold variant. This is confirmed here. (It likely only appears to work in MS Word because Word simulates a bold weight if it isn't available.) Apr 1 at 10:59

You are right that the problem is because Microsoft Himalaya has no bold font file. It's only available in regular weight. This is confirmed here.

It works in Word, because Word simulates a bold weight if it's not available (without telling you).

You have two options.

The better option is to switch to a different font which is available in a bold weight, e.g., Noto Serif Tibetan.

Alternatively, you can do do something similar to what Word does and simulate a bold weight. This is not really a great idea though, since the result will always be sub-optimal.

Compare the real bold and fake bold in the following example. You can control the amount of thickening with the embolden option.

\font\Him='Noto Serif Tibetan:script=tibt;+abvs;+blws' at 22pt
\font\HimB='Noto Serif Tibetan/B:script=tibt;+abvs;+blws' at 22pt
\font\HimFakeB='Noto Serif Tibetan:embolden=4,script=tibt;+abvs;+blws' at 22pt

\def\ex{
དཀར་མཛེས་ཨ་ཡིག་ལས་འཁྲུངས་ཡེ་ཤེས་གཏེར།།
ཕས་རྒོལ་ཝ་སྐྱེས་ཟིལ་གནོན་གདུང་ལྔ་བཞིན།།
ཆགས་ཐོགས་ཀུན་བྲལ་མཚུངས་མེད་འཇམ་དབྱངས་མཐུས།།
མ་ཧཱ་མཁས་པའི་གཙོ་བོ་ཉིད་གྱུར་ཅིག།}
\Him \ex

\HimB \ex

\HimFakeB \ex

\vfil\bye

• Thanx for your great answer. Would you pls give the TeX code of the sub-optimal solution together? Cause our co-workers stick to the Tibetan fonts without bold variant. Apr 2 at 11:16
• @user227842, The \HimFakeB is the suboptimal solution. Just use your Microsoft don't instead of Noto Serif Tibetan. Apr 2 at 13:10
• I mean Microsoft font (not don't) Apr 2 at 13:32
• Thanx a lot. We've got all that we want. Here is a sample page of our work, it is the Tibetan means to say thank you. Apr 2 at 23:09