[OS X TeX] Using LaTeX to write Greek and Arabic text

Alex Hamann mailinglist at alex-hamann.de
Tue Oct 21 21:00:13 CEST 2008

On 21.10.2008, at 20:39, David Derbes wrote:

> On Oct 21, 2008, at 12:41 PM, Salvatore Enrico Indiogine wrote:
>> Alex:
>> 2008/10/21 Alex Hamann <mailinglist at alex-hamann.de>:
>>> For Greek:
>>> use XeLaTeX for processing
>> I installed MacTeX Live 2008.  Will that do?  Do I need anything  
>> in my preamble?
>> Thanks,
>> Enrico
> In fact you don't have to use XeLaTeX. You can use the babel  
> package. Here's a snippet:

Right. I still would go for XeLaTeX. It allows you to directly write  
in Greek in your source code which - in my personal opinion - is just  
nicer as you see what you get (in a way) and do not have to fiddle  
with a specific package. Moreover, you can use any font that provides  
unicode support.
XeLaTeX comes with MacTeX 2008. There are different ways to use it,  
depending on your editor/front end. TeXShop has built-in support. On  
the command line you would want to call:
xelatex  "source file here"
or, if you like to use synctex support: xelatex --synctex=1 ""source  
file here"
then make sure you save the source file in utf8 and delete any  
inputenc / fontenc packages from the preamble. Instead add:  
\usepackage{xltxtra} and look into the polyglossia package  as a  
replacement for babel. If you want to use a specific font (I used the  
Gentium Book Basic fonts when working with Greek which you get for  
free online at http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php? 
site_id=nrsi&item_id=Gentium) you should install the font on you mac  
(via font book) and add: \setmainfont[Mapping=tex-text]{Gentium Book  
Basic} to the preamble.

Again, the other approach might work as well, I just prefer XeLaTeX.


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