My main font unfortunately does not have support for Cyrillic script. Mixing it with Linux Libertine (which does have the required glyphs) works fine in the main text where I can simply switch the language, especially that I am writing text in large blocks so the difference in font is not visible at all.

However, what can I do with references that are written in Cyrillic? Putting font switching commands within the bibliography file doesn't work in case of author names but does look acceptably in case of titles and other elements.

Is there a cleaner way (apart from switching fonts) or one that would work with author names?

For reference, my main font is Palatino because it works wonderfully in ClassicThesis; however, if there is an alternative to Palatino that looks nicely, has ligatures and contains Cyrillic glyphs by all means please suggest it!

  • 2
    What packages are you loading in your preamble? Please add a minimal working example (MWE) that illustrates your problem.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:08
  • a nice alternative to Palatino would be Minion. It should have everything you need.
    – Nils L
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:22
  • 1
    I'd kindly advise you to use the same font thoroughly your document, for the sake of consistent typography (and Linux Libertine is a great option fot this). But if you want XeTeX to automatically change the font according to the unicode block, check the ucharclasses package. (See also Switching languages for citations according to the bibentry's “hyphenation” field)
    – henrique
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 16:36
  • @henrique: I have decided to switch to Linux Libertine, though if there is an option to use multiple fonts it would be wonderful. Cyrillic glyphs are so much different from Latin that it doesn't hurt when they come from different fonts, at least to my untrained eye. Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 19:11
  • @Up-and-comingLaTeXMastah Have you seen my previous comment?
    – Alenanno
    Commented Oct 22, 2013 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


You can use the package ucharclasses to automatically change the font family based on the unicode block in usage. You call it with:


I defined a new russian environment in order to both set the block language

    \fontspec{Linux Biolinum O}}

and called it with


biblatex already automates the language specifications of bibentries based on the hyphenation field with the babel=hyphen or the babel=other package options. In order to have the same functionality in citations, refer to Switching languages for citations according to the bibentry's “hyphenation” field. The MWE below uses the first answer there.

The following MWE uses Linux Biolinum O as the cyrillic typeface, to stress the difference. It is also based on the one proposed in Russian and Japanese and biblatex oh my.

\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Pagella}
    \fontspec{Linux Biolinum O}}
  author = { Дубровин, А. И },
  title = { Открытое письмо Председателя Главного Совета Союза Русского Народа А. И. Дубровина от 2 декабря 1906 года митрополиту Санкт-Петербургскому Антонию, Первенствующему члену Священного Синода },
  journal = { Вече },
  edition = { 97 },
  year = { 1906 },
  month = { 7 дек. 1906 },
  pages = { 1-3 },
  keywords = {primary},
  hyphenation = { russian },
  language = { russian }
  author = { Brumbaugh, Thoburn T },
  title = { The Protestant Handicap in Japan. },
  journal = { Christian Century },
  volume = 64,
  edition = 23,
  year = { 1947 },
  month = { 4 June 1947 },
  pages = { 708-709 },
  keywords = {primary},
  hyphenation = { english },
  language = { english }







  • This MWE no longer works in TL 2021. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 20:57

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