# [texhax] Re: No \ss in fraktur

Stephan Hennig mailing_list at arcor.de
Mon Oct 31 00:08:44 CET 2005

Michael Barr schrieb:

> I wanted to put a caption in fraktur. Following the instructions in
> The LaTeX Companion, I loaded the package oldgerm and then used
> \textfrak{Gau\ss ian primes}.
> [...]
> Is it possible that the fraktur fonts don't include the \ss?  I got
> similar results with \textgoth and \textschwab.

Well, page 1 of the oldgerm manual says:

"... special characters like \ss or accents like \" will not really work
directly when used with these fonts."

I think it also provides some solution to the problem.

However, let me point you to the blacklettert1 package by Torsten
Bronger, which uses the same Fraktur, Schwabacher and Gothic fonts
designed by Haralambous. Blacklettert1 does not provide a style file,
but is a set of virtual fonts, IIRC. The main advantages of the package are:

(i) It provides (nearly) T1 encoded black letter fonts as opposed to
oldgerm, which uses U encoding. There is no more problem accessing
accented characters or \ss.

(ii) There are two different lower-case letters s in black letter fonts,
the long s and the final or round s. I don't know if the distinction
between both letters applies to english language, too, but I would be
surprised if not. While with the oldgerm package you have to mark every
round s letter as s:, that is, an s followed by a colon, blacklettert1
recognizes letters s at word endings automatically and puts a round s
there. For your example this means while you need to write "primes:"
with the oldgerm package you can simply write "primes" using
blacklettert1. (The oldgerm and blacklettert1 manuals cover some rules
when to use long and round s in german language. Unfortunately, none of
them provides a complete discussion.)

(iii) Since there is no bold Fraktur font emphasizing words written in
Fraktur is often done using letter spacing. While you have to do that
manually with the oldgerm package, using blacklettert1 this is done
issuing a simple \emph command. This takes ligatures into account (there
are some, that are never ever letter spaced, e.g., "ch" or "ck").

Since there is no blacklettert1 style file you might want to define
short cuts for Fraktur, Schwabacher and Gothic fonts as follows:

\newcommand{\textfrak}[1]{{\usefont{T1}{yfrak}{m}{n}#1}}
\newcommand{\textswab}[1]{{\usefont{T1}{yfrak}{m}{sl}#1}}
\newcommand{\textgoth}[1]{{\usefont{T1}{yfrak}{b}{n}#1}}

HTH,
Stephan Hennig