Is there a way to type IPA characters in TeX? There is the tipa package for LaTeX, but what about plain TeX? I don't have any experience with installing fonts in TeX and can't find any good resource on it.


2 Answers 2


You could use XeTeX with a OpenType font which includes phonetic symbols. Example:

\font\sil="Charis SIL"
['tiːaıpıːeı 'taıpfeısız]

Compile with xetex yourfilename.tex (produces yourfilename.pdf)

  • Thanks, I guess that would work, but I don't really want to use XeTeX (I use macros that need pdfTeX)... Anyway, solved. May 30, 2011 at 13:11

I didn't realise that the font from that package could be used in plain TeX too (like \font\ipafont=tipa12).

  • 3
    You'll need also some macros for getting at the symbols, if you don't want to consult every time the font table. It's possible, by looking at t3enc.def and modifying it to make it compatible with Plain.
    – egreg
    May 30, 2011 at 14:40
  • 1
    Actually, I hardly needed to consult the font table -- the font pretty much follows SAMPA. Thanks anyway. Jun 28, 2011 at 15:54

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