[XeTeX] Greek (and other Unicode) letters in math mode

Arno Trautmann Arno.Trautmann at gmx.de
Tue May 31 21:28:01 CEST 2011

Hello Gerrit,

Gerrit wrote:
> I always wonder why I can, if I write a formula in math mode, write
> latin letters (b, g etc.) as they are but have to write out greek
> letters like \alpha or \rho.
> Wouldn’t it be nice if I could write:
> $$ a^3 \cdot ψ \cdot Ω = ∞ $$ ?
> Or maybe even further:
> $$ a³ ∙ ψ ∙ Ω = ∞ $$
> Well, this would maybe not really be an advantage in typing (I think,
> for most people it is easier to write \Omega rather than copy and
> pasting Ω,)

With a good keyboard layout, one can have most mathematical symbol at
hand; on mine (the Neo layout¹) I have all greek characters as well as
∏, ∑, ∫ and many others …

> but rather that the Tex Editor (if you use one) would
> automatically convert \Omega to Ω, so that the Tex code is easier to
> read. Of course, some stuff you cannot make easier (\frac etc), but for
> other symbols and characters, it would be nice if one could just /read
> /them in the code.
> I think, Xetex would then just need a mapping table converting Ω to
> \Omega before compiling.
> What do you think about that?

There is the unicode-math package that provides just what you ask for.
You need a unicode-encoded OpenType font, and there you go, e.g.:



$∫ α = β²$

This works with a TeXlive2010 and LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX. Unfortunately,
however, the freely available math fonts are, in my personal opinion,
not as beautiful as the cmr fonts …


¹http://neo-layout.org/ , german only, sorry …

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