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

Laurence Finston Laurence.Finston at gmx.de
Fri Jan 21 04:14:06 CET 2022

This is the contents of dtemp.tex:

\input eplain



These are the commands run:

tex dtemp && dvips -o dtemp.ps dtemp.dvi && ps2pdf dtemp.ps

The results are in the attached screenshots.  In evince, both {\'e} and é are searchable with é.  However, strangely, the orange box only covers half of the é resulting from {\'e}.  In Firefox, only é is searchable.

Since it obviously works, I haven't tested with pdftex, luatex, xetex ...

> Gesendet: Freitag, 21. Januar 2022 um 00:46 Uhr
> Von: "Karl Berry" <karl at freefriends.org>
> An: gerald.ten at free.fr
> Cc: tex-eplain at tug.org
> Betreff: Re: [tex-eplain] accents problem in pdf generated by eplain
> 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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