[OS X TeX] unicode characters

Bruno Voisin bvoisin at mac.com
Mon Jul 9 10:59:59 EDT 2007

Le 9 juil. 07 à 16:05, manan ahmed a écrit :

> On behalf of a number of humanities scholars using LaTex, I am  
> wondering if there is an easier way to do transliteration without  
> all the h\=a\d{s}\d{s}l\u{e}? Currently, I have macros set up for  
> the most common words I use but that method is failing to work  
> efficiently.
> Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

You can use XeLaTeX, which takes UTF-8 files as input and can use any  
font installed on your OS X system. It's now a standard part of  
TeXLive, and is installed with both MacTeX/TeXLive-2007 and gwTeX.

There's a web page with greater detail:


and a dedicated mailing list (with many members from the humanities  
community, as you'll see):


An example of input file:

%!TEX TS-program = xelatex
%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
\setromanfont{Lucida Grande}
\nonindent h\=a\d{s}\d{s}l\u{e}
\noindent hāṣṣlĕ

The fontspec package makes loading OS X fonts easy (by introducing  
\setromanfont, for example), the [cm-default] option to this package  
ensures better compatibility with standard LaTeX, the xunicode  
package translates standard LaTeX accents such as \=a into calls to  
the corresponding glyphs such as ā of the selected font, the  
Mapping=tex-text instruction translates (to simplify) TeX-specific  
ligatures such as -- into calls to the corresponding glyphs such as  
– (an en-dash), the Scale=MatchLowercase instruction scales the font  
to better mix with standard LaTeX fonts (meaning Computer Modern  
generally), and the xltxtra package does a bit more enhancements to  
standard LaTeX.

See also the contents of


I think there's also a XeTeX showcase included somewhere in the  
distribution, but I can't find where it is right now.

Hope this helps,

Bruno Voisin
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