# Using ligatures as Unicode

I use TeX Live. See my example:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\begin{document}
Check ligatures: ﬁrst % here I have ligature for "fi"
\end{document}

I have Unicode symbol here: . When I compile the above LaTeX file I get:

! Package ucs Error: Unknown Unicode character 64257 = U+FB01

Then I apply the LaTeX system recommendation and compile the following file:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8x]{inputenc}
\usepackage[english]{babel}
\DeclareUnicodeCharacter{FB01}{ﬁ}% Here I defined a Unicode ligature
\begin{document}
Check ligatures: ﬁrst
\end{document}

But when I compile this LaTeX file I get:

! Missing number, treated as zero.
F
l.4 \DeclareUnicodeCharacter{FB01}{ﬁ}

So my question is: How can I input ligatures in a LaTeX file using just the ligature's Unicode symbol?

• I'm wondering what you want to achieve as it is seems you are trying to solve the wrong problem. – Khaled Hosny Feb 23 '12 at 11:13
• Why do you think I solve wrong problem? – Michael Z Feb 23 '12 at 11:37
• Using Unicode ligature glyphs does not make much sense with TeX since it will naturally do the ligaturing for you. – Khaled Hosny Feb 23 '12 at 11:50
• @KhaledHosny : you can have some Unicode ligature appearing in your TeX file through a cut'n paste operation. I remember having had some similar problems and I guess it is a legitimate possibility, even if not optimal. – Frédéric Grosshans Feb 23 '12 at 12:16
• I strongly recommend to use XeLaTeX or LuaLaTeX for this. – Reinstate Monica - M. Schröder Feb 23 '12 at 12:39