# easylist and \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}

With the following MWE:

\documentclass{article}
% \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{easylist}

\begin{document}
\begin{easylist}[enumerate]
§ A first item
§§ A sub item
§§ another subitem
\end{easylist}
\end{document}


We get the desired output:

But if the line \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} is uncommented, we'd then get:

While this can be fixed by either (a) using XeLaTeX, or (b) \usepackage[at]{easylist} and @ instead of §, is there a way to make § markers work with \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} in pdfLaTeX?

• Short answer: no. The easylist marker must be a single character, but in UTF-8 § is two byte long: blind alley. – egreg Jan 25 '17 at 8:17
• thanks @egreg , can you add that as an answer? – LianTze Lim Jan 25 '17 at 8:47
• @egreg this can't be the reason: § is two bytes in utf8 regardless if you load inputenc or not. The difference is that its first byte is active. – Ulrike Fischer Jan 25 '17 at 8:49
• @UlrikeFischer That was a “short answer”: try with \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} and you'll see what happens. – egreg Jan 25 '17 at 9:16

You can use the following hack that changes the unicode character § to be an easylist item inside the easylist environment:

\documentclass{article}

\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{easylist}

\DeclareUnicodeCharacter{00A7}{\easylistitemornot}
\let\easylistitemornot\S

\def\easylist{%
\def\easylistitemornot{\futurelet\elNextToken\elCreateItem}%
\begingroup\elPredefinedStyle}%
\def\endeasylist{\endgroup\par}
\def\Activate{%
\def\easylistitemornot{\futurelet\elNextToken\elCreateItem}%
}
\def\Deactivate{%
\let\easylistitemornot\S
}

\begin{document}
\begin{easylist}[enumerate]
§ A first item
§§ A sub item
§§ another subitem
\end{easylist}

Here we have a real §.
\end{document}


Nevertheless I would recommend to use, e.g., option at to change the item marker:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[at]{easylist}

\begin{document}
\begin{easylist}[enumerate]
@ A first item
@@ A sub item
@@ another subitem
\end{easylist}
\end{document}

• thanks, works great! agree that using at and @ is much cleaner, but was just wondering if it's possible. – LianTze Lim Jan 26 '17 at 0:58