My question is essentially the same as that found here. I would like to be able to typeset a handful of Greek words.

Here's a MWE:



\newcommand{\theos}{\ensuremath{\theta\epsilon\acute o\sigma}\ }


\item Latin version (not what I want): theos 
\item Math version (in italics, but otherwise fine): \theos.
\item Solution from @egreg (does not work for me): \textgreek{θεός}


Depending which packages I uncomment, I get different errors.

  • Everything uncommented:
    • LaTeX Error: File `LGR.def' not found.
    • LaTeX Error: File `LGRx.def' not found. (if I change it to LGRx)
  • Without LGR and textcomp:
    • Package babel Error: Unknown option `greek'.
    • LaTeX Error: Encoding scheme `LGR' unknown.
    • Package inputenc Error: Unicode char θ (U+3B8)(inputenc) not set up for use with LaTeX (and similar for other characters)
  • Without LGR, babel, and textcomp
    • LaTeX Error: Encoding scheme 'LGR' unknown.
    • Package inputenc Error: Unicode char θ (U+3B8)(inputenc) not set up for use with LaTeX (and similar for other characters)
  • Without the \textgreek newcommand, and textcomp
    • File `LGR.def' not found.

You get the idea. I can copy the utf8 greek letters into the .tex, but can't get them into my pdf. I'm running PDFLaTeX on Texmaker on Ubuntu.

Follow-up to comments.


\begin{document} \textgreek{θεός} 


Returns error: Package babel Error: Unknown option `greek'.

If I run the same with LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX, it ignores the inputenc, says that \textgreek is undefined, has the same babel error, and does not output the greek letters.

How would I make LuaLaTeX or XeLaTeX work with greek? I've not come across them before, but see that they are an option in Texmaker.

  • 2
    Is XeLaTeX or LuaTeX available? My understanding is that one of the big appeals is that they can handle the other fonts much better. – Teepeemm Aug 30 '17 at 23:42
  • Does \documentclass{book} \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} \usepackage[greek,english]{babel} \begin{document} \textgreek{θεός} \end{document} work? – samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz Aug 30 '17 at 23:45
  • 1
    The solution with maths Greek letter is a very bad solution; there's no kerning. The best is to type θεός with a Greek keyboard driver and compile with xelatex. – Bernard Aug 30 '17 at 23:49
  • So when I use those, the output is a4, instead of the intended 6x9. But if that fixes the Greek problem, I guess I could switch and solve that new issue. How would you make it work? I put some Greek letters in and they don't come out the other end... – Dr Xorile Aug 30 '17 at 23:49
  • @samcarter, that did not work for me. See edit in question – Dr Xorile Aug 30 '17 at 23:56

Okay, so the issue was (at least partly) that I didn't have the babel greek packages installed.

So in terminal I ran this (from here):

$ sudo apt-cache search texlive greek
$ sudo apt-get install texlive-lang-greek

Then with pdfLaTeX I was able to run the following:



\item \textgreek{theta} 
\item \textgreek{θεός}


with almost expected results.

The greek changes the font somewhat. So the θεός is rendered with a curly theta. I guess this is just a different font, because when I copy and paste it from the pdf output, it looks exactly the same.

  • Look at the documentation of the cbgreek package (which sets up the fonts for the Greek options in babel, or it can be used on its own without babel) to find how to select fonts with different letter shapes. – alephzero Aug 31 '17 at 12:47

You might want to consider the betababel package. Apart from the greek letters, it also has convenient shortcuts for the various diacritics. Example from the documentation:




Some regular text



enter image description here

  • 1
    Unless you really want to use Betacode (e.g. you already have a lot of Greek text encoded that way) you don't need it. The Greek language options in Babel already give you a way to input Greek text using the Latin alphabet that is simpler to use - or you can enter the Greek directly using Unicode. – alephzero Aug 31 '17 at 12:44
  • @alephzero - how would you go about entering Greek diacritics? The usual tricks like \' don't cover all of the ones that are used in Greek. And "directly entering unicode" is not possible on my keyboard. – Michael Palmer Aug 31 '17 at 17:16
  • This is more Greek text than I'm going to need. What I would like is to shift from the Didot font to a more latin one. Discussed here – Dr Xorile Aug 31 '17 at 21:09

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