[pdftex] typesetting Hàn Thế Thành's name in pdfTeX

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Thu Mar 26 22:59:59 CET 2009

On 27/03/2009, at 4:37 AM, Paulo Ney de Souza wrote:

> Is it possible to typeset Hàn Thế Thành name using full UTF-8  
> input in pdfTeX, that is, without gimmicks in the accent on the  
> letter "e" ?

Try this:

>> \documentclass[11pt]{article}
>> \usepackage[UTF8]{inputenc}
>> \usepackage[vietnam,USenglish]{babel}
>> \begin{document}
>> \begin{otherlanguage}{vietnam}
>> \subsubsection{Vietnamese : }
>>  Hàn Thế Thành
>> \end{otherlanguage}
>> \end{document}
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> I can see that his name is not properly accented in some of the  
> original documentation written by himself:
>     http://sarovar.org/docman/view.php/106/66/pdftex-s.pdf
> and that some other documentation:
>      http://sarovar.org/docman/view.php/106/64/pdftex-a.pdf.pdf
>    barely accentuates it properly:
>     \def\THANH{H\`an Th\^e\llap{\raise 0.5ex\hbox{\'{}}} Th\`anh}
> The rules of accentuation in Vietnamese say the marks are supposed  
> to be vertically centered, on top of each other - which is  
> definitely not the case in the macro above...
>     http://pjm.math.berkeley.edu/users/paulo/Snap1.gif

Using UTF-8 the position of the accent may depend upon what the
font supports.  At least this would be the situation using XeTeX
which just passes the bytes to your OS's font-rendering engine.

With pdfTeX, and Babel (as above), you would need to do detailed
tracing to see just what happens, according to the properties
of the font-encoding being used. With my simple example above,
here's a snippet of tracing:

\UTFviii at three@octets #1#2#3->\expandafter \UTFviii at defined \csname  
g #2\string #3\endcsname

   (Thus we start with 3 bytes...)


\@text at composite #1#2#3\@text at composite ->\expandafter  
\@text at composite@x \csna
me \string #1-\string #2\endcsname

\@text at composite@x #1->\ifx #1\relax \expandafter \@secondoftwo \else  
ter \@firstoftwo \fi #1

\@firstoftwo #1#2->#1
#2<-\add at accent {1}{\ecircumflex }

\\T5\'-\ecircumflex ->?
{blank space  }
{end-group character }}

   ... and finish up with a single character.

> Paulo Ney de Souza
> Mathematical Sciences Publishers

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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