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I know that to use unicode symbols, I need unicode-math and that requires XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX. I have previously set up my own package (mostly macros) that uses unicode-math and runs on LuaLaTeX.

Now, I am using the arsclassica package (a classicthesis style-up) to write my thesis, and it requires pdfLaTeX which is incompatible with unicode-math. But I need unicode symbols as the macros I made won't work otherwise; for example, \AtBeginDocument{\renewcommand*\pi{\symup{π}}} or \DeclareMathOperator{\laplacian}{\symbol{8710}}, etc. I have a lot of macros and I'd rather not have to figure out all over again how to change each individual one so that it works in pdfLaTeX. How can I generally work around this (i.e. modify my macros using maybe 2/3 basic commands or rules) so that the macros work as intended?

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I can't see why you think arsclassica is not compatible with XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX:

\documentclass{scrbook}
\usepackage{arsclassica}
\usepackage{amsmath}

\usepackage{unicode-math}
\setmainfont{TeX Gyre Pagella}
\setsansfont{Iwona}
\setmathfont{Asana Math}

\AtBeginDocument{\renewcommand*\pi{\symup{π}}}
\DeclareMathOperator{\laplacian}{\symbol{8710}}

\begin{document}

\chapter{Some title}

\section{A title}

Some text to see what happens; let's say that
$\laplacian\pi=0$

\end{document}

enter image description here

  • I swear on my life there was a reason it didn't work before! Thank you :) Also, the text rendering looks a bit different between using pdflatex and xe/lualatex -- any way to make it look like the pdflatex version? It seems a bit cleaner I think... – Alborz Mar 12 '16 at 23:22

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