# [texhax] How to write straight accents in TeX (not LaTeX!)

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Sep 8 00:37:02 CEST 2007

Pablo Mayckon writes:
> Having been using LaTeX for more than two years, I have now decided to learn
> TeX. I've just finished chapter 6 of the TeXbook.
>
> But I'm from Brazil and I need to use accents quite often. When I used LaTeX,
> that wasn't a problem, 'cause all I needed to do was to write
> "\usepackage[latin9]{inputenc}". But now I'm in TeX and, as I expected, it
> doesn't know what "\usepackage" is.
> [...]
> P.S.: As I tried to indicate in the subject of this message, I would like to
> type accents in a straightforward manner, that is, "á" and not "\'a".

\catcode\á=13
\defá{\'a}
á
\bye

Since you have the texbook, I don't have to explain a lot.  Characters
of \catcode 13 are called active characters and behave like control
sequences.  The second line gives this control sequence a meaning.

Regards,
Reinhard

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