Can one type Old Cyrillic letters using LaTeX?


Perhaps there is a package.

  • 1
    Could you explain your problem with the existing answer by egreg? It can use LuaTeX, not just XeTeX. I believe that egreg's solution is the only way to do this, unless you are willing to create a custom font encoding and dismantle the Old Standard font into a PostScript subset. – user103221 Jan 7 '17 at 22:49
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    @RobtA For various resons I am seeking first pdflatex solution. – Przemysław Scherwentke Jan 9 '17 at 13:33

Some OpenType fonts support also old Cyrillic letters; compile the following with XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX:

\setmainfont{Old Standard}



enter image description here

I know no way to get the most ancient characters with standard LaTeX fonts. Only the characters dropped in 1917 are part of available encodings: yat, fita, izhitsa, and “decimal i” are available in the X2 encoding, and also yus. See the table of the X2 encoding, where the preference has been given to characters actually used in extensions of the modern Cyrillic alphabet.

enter image description here

If the font is not installed as a system font, but is included in your TeX distribution, you can load it as


% if not enabled as system font

хѡцчшщъ ьѣю ѥѧѫѩѭѯѱѳѵ

хѡцчшщъ ьѣю ѥѧѫѩѭѯѱѳѵ}

The TeX Live and MiKTeX distributions include the fonts; if you don't have a full install, add them with the appropriate methods: for TeX Live it is

tlmgr install oldstandard

If your TeX Live is provided by the GNU/Linux flavor package manager (say on Debian or ArchLinux or whatever), the package to install should be


(check the package list, the name might differ slightly).

For MiKTeX use its package manager.

  • How do you get the Old Standard font? I get an error saying The font "Old Standard" cannot be found. – Al.G. Sep 24 '18 at 12:12
  • @Al.G. The font is distributed with TeX Live. How to load it with XeLaTeX depends on your operating system. I'll add some details. – egreg Sep 24 '18 at 12:21
  • Thank you! I don't have a tlmgr binary, but I looked at the texlive packages available for Arch and got it working by installing the texlive-fontsextra package. – Al.G. Sep 24 '18 at 13:19
  • @Al.G. Right, I'll add also that. – egreg Sep 24 '18 at 13:24

There are packages that not only give access to letters, but also to diacritics and hyphenation.

There is a churchslavonic package in TeXlive distribution. It uses UTF document file encoding.

Also there is a package not included in LaTeX distribution, so you have to install it manually: cslTeX.

It is a pdfLaTeX + non-UTF solution (uses cp1251 or koi-8 as document encoding).


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