From an FAQ post I wrote a few years ago:
This may seem like an odd question, but it’s actually one I get very often. On my TeXtip twitter account, I include tips on how to create non-English characters such as using
\AAto produce Å. Every time someone will ask “Why not use XeTeX and just enter these characters?”
If you can “just enter” non-English characters, then you don’t need a tip. But a lot of people either don’t know how to do this or don’t have a convenient way to do so. Most English speakers only need to type foreign characters occasionally, and will find it easier, for example, to type
\ssthan to learn how to produce Å or ß from a keyboard. If you frequently need to enter Unicode characters, and know how to do so, then XeTeX is great.
One thought on “Why don’t you simply use XeTeX?”
I’ve been told that the arXiv cannot handle XeTeX submissions. For me, that’s a deal breaker.