The aim is to generate the .pdf with accented characters (the .tex file has mixed macro and unicode input), in a way that the .pdf text can be copy-pasted.

An example:




Unicode input: ā ī ū ṃ ṅ ñ

Macro input: \=a \={\i} \=u \d{m} \.n \~n


Compiling with pdflatex, the above will visually produce the desired characters, but when you select and copy-paste them from the .pdf, you get

Unicode input: a  ̄ u m n ñ
 ̄ı ̄ .  ̇
Macro input: a  ̄ u m n ñ

Ulrike's answer explains what pdflatex is doing here.


pdflatex doesn't use "unicode compounds". You are using T1-encoding and for the accented chars not available in this encoding pdflatex use various methods to build them. E.g the dot below the m is actually a small tabular with the m in the first row and a dot in the second:


In theory you can get correct glyphs with pdflatex (if your font contains them). In practice it would mean a lot work. Better use xelatex or lualatex.

  • With XeLaTeX and LuaLaTeX, use, accordingly, \usepackage[EU1]{fontenc} and \usepackage[EU2]{fontenc}, or just load fontspec. – Andrey Vihrov Jul 3 '11 at 17:04
  • Thanks, I didn't realize that. I removed the latter part of the question accordingly. I see that I'll need to update lualatex to work with fontspec. – Gambhiro Jul 3 '11 at 17:43

Try adding \usepackage{cmap}. Or switch to xelatex/lualatex.

  • Thanks! There should be a phrase on this site for the "yet another latex package I didn't know about" feeling. – Gambhiro Jul 6 '11 at 16:08

This is the path to victory:

  1. Install TeX Live 2010 which has a luatex and fontspec version that work together. Follow the instructions on tug.org.

  2. On Linux, don't forget to update the $PATH! If you already have TeX Live installed with your package manager, give the new path priority over the old one. For example, at the end of ~/.bashrc, put PATH=/usr/local/texlive/2010/bin/i386-linux:$PATH; export PATH

  3. Log out and back in (or just open a new terminal) so that your $PATH updates.

Save this test to test.tex somewhere, and compile with
lualatex --interaction=nonstopmode test.tex


\setmainfont[Ligatures=TeX]{TeX Gyre Pagella}


Unicode input: ā ī ū ṃ ṅ ñ

Macro input: \=a \={\i} \=u \d{m} \.n \~n


Open the resulting test.pdf, and when you copy-paste from it, you get

Unicode input: ā ī ū ṃ ṅ ñ
Macro input: ā ī ū ṃ ṅ ñ


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