Here's a minimal example:


Compiling this into a PDF using lualatex and extracting the text using pdftotext, I get the string aö z, that is:

U+0061(a) U+006f(o) U+0308(combining diaeresis) U+0020(space) U+007a(z)

Two problems with this: there's an unnecessary space (due to some PDF formatting trickery, the uncompressed datastream shows Tm[<…>125<01C5>-124<…>]TJ), and I don't want the umlaut to be split into base and combining character because for some reason that renders weirdly when changing the font size. I want the output to be

U+0061(a) U+00f6(ö) U+007a(z)

And the worst thing: with \setmainfont{Lucida Grande}, I get exactly that. Just not with Cambria.

Both are in TTF format. Checking the fonts in fontforge shows that both their U+00f6 glyphs are defined as composed of U+006f U+0308, only difference being that Cambria defines its OTF Class as “Base Glyph” while in Lucida Grande it's “Automatic” (no idea what that means).

It is a fontspec specific problem:

\font\foo={name:Cambria} at 10pt
aöz \foo aöz

generates what I expect, first umlaut missing as expected, too:

U+0061(a) U+007a(z) U+0020(space) U+0061(a) U+00f6(ö) U+007a(z)


aöz \fontspec{Cambria} aöz


U+0061(a) U+00f6(ö) U+007a(z) U+0020 U+0061(a) U+006f(o) U+0308 U+0020 U+007a(z)

Same when using \DeclareUTFcharacter{x00F6}{\foo} and replacing ö with \foo{}, so I guess it's not xunicode's fault?

1 Answer 1


From this answer I learned there is a Renderer=Basic option that causes an unknown number of side-effects.

aöz \fontspec{Cambria} aöz ffi

The font doesn't seem to use ligatures anyway, where I want to use special features like VerticalPosition=Numerator for vulgar fractions, I can just switch to Renderer=Full.

A way to keep it from messing around in my unicode while keeping all functionality would be better though…

I've been using the Basic renderer since and it seems to support the font's built in ligatures after all (for Cambria look at ti), no TeX-ligatures like --- for dashes though, need to enter those as unicode

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