[tex-eplain] accents problem in pdf generated by eplain

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Fri Jan 21 00:46:08 CET 2022

Hi G\'erald - there are no special facilities in Eplain to make
PDF searching work, unfortunately. So this becomes a question about
getting searchable accents in PDF produced by plain TeX.

For pdfTeX, it is the primitives \pdfgentounicode and \pdfglyphtounicode
that ultimately define how the searching works. Whether those can be
coerced into working with the default CM 7-bit fonts, as Laurence
described, I don't know, but it may be possible.  Unfortunately I have
no recipe, either for that or for using 8-bit fonts like EC.

I didn't try it, but I suspect that using xetex or luatex, and 
OTF/TTF fonts (like Latin Modern), and Unicode characters for input
instead of TeX control sequences like \'e, would work.

However, to make TeX control sequences yield searchable characters in
plain TeX (with any engine), I don't know. I'm down to suggesting
posting the question on a more general forum, like the texhax at tug.org
mailing list or the tex.stackexchange.com forum, etc. Sorry. If you do,
and there are any positive answers, please let me know.

I'll try to at least mention this topic in the Eplain manual.
--all the best, karl.

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