# [texhax] Problem with French composition

Axel E. Retif axel.retif at mac.com
Tue Aug 25 00:25:33 CEST 2009

On  24 Aug, 2009, at 10:19, William Adams wrote:

> On Aug 23, 2009, at 6:54 AM, Jacques Goldman wrote:
>
>> I'm new to Tex. I've downloaded the MacTex distribution.
>> All was OK so far. I tried the example shown in the "Red me First "
>> document. OK So far
>> After that I tried some sentences in french tthus containing é, è ù
>> and accented letters. Unfortunately those letters have disapeared
>> in the output text.

[...]

> John Culleton's note:
>>> Use of the actual accented character in your .tex file is likely to
>>> fail. Only characters in the ASCII character set should be used in
>>> your source file.
>
> Only applies if one wishes to limit oneself to working w/ Plain TeX
> in an unchanged version.
>
> For LaTeX one would do something like:
>
> \documentclass{minimal}
> \usepackage[applemac]{inputenc}
> \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
> \usepackage[frenchb]{babel}
> \begin{document}

Also, your editor should know which encoding you're using. As you are
on a Mac with MacTeX distro, most likely you're using TeXShop as your
editor. So, open TeXShop -> Preferences, and in the Source tab look
into the lower right corner: Encoding. There you should make sure the
encoding coincides with the one you choose in the line
\usepackage[xxxxxx]{inputenc}.

For applemac as encoding, you must choose Western (Mac OS Roman)''
as the encoding in TeXShop preferences.

Unlike William, though, I would advise you to use utf8 as the input
encoding [Unicode (UTF-8)'' in TeXShop preferences, 
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} '' in your LaTeX preamble]. To start with,
Mac OS X uses UTF-8 as the default encoding, and so does Linux and, I
think, recent Windows. Also, if you want to use XeTeX, as William
advised, your encoding has to be utf8.

Best,

Axel

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