[OS X TeX] unicode characters

Jonathan Kew jonathan_kew at sil.org
Mon Jul 9 11:01:32 EDT 2007

On 9 Jul 2007, at 3:05 pm, manan ahmed wrote:

> 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.

If you're running TeX Live 2007, or a distribution based on it (e.g,  
MacTeX, gwTeX), you have access to xelatex, which provides built-in  
Unicode support using standard TrueType/OpenType fonts.

%%!TEX encoding = UTF-8 Unicode
%%!TEX TS-program = XeLaTeX

\usepackage{fontspec} % to select fonts in XeLaTeX
\usepackage{xunicode} % for backward compatibility with macros like  
\u, \d, etc
\defaultfontfeatures{Mapping=tex-text} % compatibility with TeX  
ligatures --- etc
\setmainfont{Lucida Grande} % or Times Roman, or Charis SIL, or  

You can type whatever Unicode characters your font supports;
no need for any hāṣṣlĕ with \LaTeX\ macros.

(This assumes you have convenient keyboard access to the various  
characters you need. I used the accent dead-keys on the "US Extended"  
keyboard, but for frequent use you might prefer a different layout.)


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