[OS X TeX] encoding and special characters in TexShop

Robert Spence spence at saar.de
Sat Sep 16 21:39:32 EDT 2006

On 16 Sep 2006, at 09:21 , Bruno Voisin wrote:

> And finally, where can one find information about these issues --  
> other than the most arduous chapters of the TeXbook, I mean.

In section 2.2.6 of
(or in the original German:
there's a summary of when and where (and partly why) one should or  
should not use which of the various ways of inputting German umlauts  
and other non-ASCII characters, viz.: {\"u}; \"u or \"{u}; "u; and  
finally ü.

If I interpret Alex Hamann's needs correctly (on the basis of his  
previous postings), then he's working in an environment in which he  
exchanges German text with people more used to WYSIWYG approaches to  
word processing, and thus only the fourth of these ways of inputting  
will ever be used (unless he needs to define new LaTeX macros at some  
stage or do global things in document preambles), so therefore he'll  
always need to explicitly call the inputenc package when working with  
an 8-bit version of TeX.

Pages 327 thru 331 of The LaTeX Companion (2nd edition) contain a  
brief but useful overview of the basics of input and output  
encodings, which would probably be adequate for Alex's purposes.  I  
don't know offhand where to look for more in-depth information.

> My poor head...

My impression is that, if there _is_ anyone who understands these  
issues well enough to explain them in a comprehensible way, then he/ 
she is either too busy to take up the task, or else still working  
away feverishly at it.

-- Robert Spence
Applied Linguistics
Saarland University

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