I'm new to this forum and to LaTeX. It's the first time I use use it and I really like it. I have a problem with it, though, I have looked for solution on this forum but I haven't found anything (or I don't know how to use other solutions for my case).

I'm using XeLateX with the editor Texpad for Mac OS X and I can't use UTF-8 characters in math mode. I've read here that I shouldn't use babel, nor inputenc, but polyglossia instead. I'm doing it and even though I have Spanish UTF-8 characters in normal mode, I don't have them on math mode. Let's see some code:

Algo de texto y una fórmula $á+b=\int_{\xi}^{\theta} f(x)\,dx$.

Which outputs:

Code output

As you can see, "ó" is working outside math mode but "á" isn't working in it. Maybe I should use some package such as mathspec or unicode-math, but I don't really know how.

Help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance!

  • 1
    A simple workaround would be to use \textsf{á} or \textit{á} in math mode (or even \textit{\textsf{á}}). The problem is that you would not want the reader to confuse the accent for a derivative. – Steven B. Segletes Sep 29 '15 at 14:22
  • It's not specific to your question but maybe have a read of tex.stackexchange.com/q/118244/28808 and see if anything helps – Chris H Sep 29 '15 at 14:22
  • 1
    Your example, when compiled here, doesn't give the sans-serif maths in your image - -but it does drop the "á". – Chris H Sep 29 '15 at 14:23
  • Thank you everyone for your answers, I will take a look to it, Chris H :) – lyurealm Sep 29 '15 at 14:47

Accents in math mode have to be added in a different way than in text mode; in general, an accented letter in math has no connection with the corresponding meaning in text, so ü in math is the second derivative of u, not “u with diaeresis”.

You can, if you really want to use accented letters in math, add a meaning for them.


  \cs_new_protected:cpn { mathutf_#1: } { #2 }
  \char_set_active_eq:Nc #1 { mathutf_#1: }
  \char_set_mathcode:nn { `#1 } { "8000 }
\cs_generate_variant:Nn \char_set_active_eq:NN { Nc }

% other needed declarations

Algo de texto y una fórmula $á+b=\int_{\xi}^{\theta} f(x)\,dx$.

enter image description here

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  • Thank you very much! In fact, this seems to work. In fact, what I want to write is "señal", which means "signal". I think I can add this to your answer: \DeclareMathUnicode{ñ}{\acute{n} And it will work. Very interesting answer, still a lot to learn about LaTex. Thank you again :) – lyurealm Sep 29 '15 at 14:49
  • 3
    @lyurealm In that case you want either \textit{señal} or \textrm{señal}. – egreg Sep 29 '15 at 15:13
  • Remember that you can mark answers as "accepted" if they solved your problem :-) – akvilas Sep 30 '15 at 6:12

you can try \mathit:

Algo de texto y una fórmula $\mathit{á}+b=\int_{\xi}^{\theta} f(x)\,dx$.

enter image description here

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  • Thank you for your answer, but I can't make it work. Do I need to use some package for mathit? – lyurealm Sep 29 '15 at 14:53
  • did you run xelatex or lualatex – user2478 Sep 29 '15 at 14:55
  • Editor says it's using XeLateX, but now you made me doubt... how can I check it? – lyurealm Sep 29 '15 at 15:09
  • what error do you get? – user2478 Sep 29 '15 at 15:25
  • I didn't get any error, but it didn't show neither. Kinda weird. I've solved it using \textit{}. Thank you very much for your help! – lyurealm Sep 29 '15 at 15:30

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