I'd like to use the package mathdesign, but it somehow makes problems with the german letter ß. My question is related to XeTeX: “ß” compiles as “SS”, German umlauts work but different because the reason seems to be mathdesign here.
The effect is best show with the following minimal example

The german ß compiles to SS when used with \emph{mathdesign} package.

beeing compiled with line 4 uncommented resulting in desired result or with line 4 activated resulting in unwanted.
Ä, Ö, Ü and so on works fine.

1 Answer 1


Unless you really have to use polyglossia, you can try the following, which seems to work fine on my machine:

The german ß compiles to ß when used with \emph{mathdesign} package.
  a^2 = b^2 + c^2

enter image description here

This uses the OpenType version of Utopia (for text), available here, which I think is a bit more appropriate in XeTeX/LuaTeX. For math, mathdesign remains in use.

  • Hi, thanks for your example. But - is polyglossia buggy? I startedt using XeLaTeX about 18 months ago and red somewhere, that like babel in LaTeX, polyglossia !SHOULD! be used in XeLaTeX. What is the truth? Thanks. May 27, 2013 at 19:09
  • @BastianEbeling here is a little bit of insight: tex.stackexchange.com/questions/88481/polyglossia-vs-babel
    – cgnieder
    May 27, 2013 at 19:16
  • 1
    I've been following Ulrike Fischer's advice to just stick with babel (in Xe/LuaLaTeX) until you run into problems ...which so far I haven't; the scripts I've used it with have been working fine (Latin, Cyrillic, polytonic Greek).
    – Nils L
    May 27, 2013 at 19:37

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