I'd like to use utf8 and arabtex packages under the memoir documentclass, but it seems unlikely to happen (previous discussion). What would be a good alternative, no transliteration and something that works with T1 encoding?



بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


This will produce an error:

("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX\tex\latex\arabtex\arabtex.sty"
("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX\tex\latex\arabtex\aconfig.sty")
("C:\Program Files\MiKTeX\tex\latex\arabtex\arabaux.sty")

! Class memoir Error: Font command \it is not supported.

See the memoir class documentation for explanation.
Type  H <return>  for immediate help.

l.551 \settransfont {\rm \it }
                              % standard font for transliteration
  • Would you please show a minimal example of a document using arabtex that cannot be converted to memoir?
    – egreg
    Jan 28, 2012 at 10:52
  • @egreg MWE done. Jan 28, 2012 at 11:18
  • This doesn't produce Arabic output.
    – egreg
    Jan 28, 2012 at 11:34
  • @AymanElmasry Arabtex is meant to be transliterated. I you don't want transliteration maybe you better check out XeTeX or XeLaTeX.
    – yannisl
    Jan 28, 2012 at 12:21
  • @YiannisLazarides Yes, so it seems. I'm not sure about switching to XeLaTeX, I've been switching to a lot of things lately, I suppose I'll take a look. Jan 28, 2012 at 16:47

3 Answers 3


You can get back the functionality of the "old" font commands by writing, after \documentclass[<options>]{memoir},


However, as remarked by Yiannis,


does this without extra code. Here <options> stands for all the other options you want to pass to memoir, in your case call it as

  • 1
    The option oldfontcommands incorporates old font commands in the memoir class.
    – yannisl
    Jan 28, 2012 at 12:07
  • @YiannisLazarides Great, Worked like a charm. Jan 28, 2012 at 17:39

If you don't mind switching to another engine, the following should work with XeTeX (xelatex) and you get access to any Arabic OpenType font:



\newfontfamily\arabicfont[Script=Arabic]{Amiri} % or any other font


\textarabic{بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم}

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Khaled’s answer works fine for many things, but for me there’s always a conflict with one or more packages when I write Arabic. The solution I found in one TexShop template, if I don’t want to type the whole text in Arabic, is:

\newfontfamily{\A}{Geeza Pro} %or any other font
{\A بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم}

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